ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Wednesday has called for nationwide policies and efforts of recovery and rehabilitation of post-conflict areas in Ethiopia to be child-centered.
The call came on a day the African Child Day marked under the theme ‘30 years after the adoption of the Charter (ACRWR): Accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children‘.
Ethiopia ratified the Charter in 1990, that says, in its figure 9 aspiration, that ‘every child is free from the impact of armed conflicts and other disasters or emergency situations’.
United Nations (UN) studies estimate that among 23.2 million people in Ethiopia in need of humanitarian assistance, 12.5 million are children.
Of the 1.82 million persons who are internally displaced (IDPs) primarily due to conflict, around 58% are less than 18 years old, of whom 21,659 are unaccompanied.
EHRC says it has confirmed the majority of people living in these shelters are women and children during its monitoring.
Of the reported 670 rural and 100 urban Woredas in Ethiopia, 359 are IDPs host areas while 115 of them are receiving returning IDPs, according to the Commission.
“The Africa Children’s Charter Agenda 2040 provides a sufficiently overarching framework to trigger the necessary changes in resource allocation and approach,” said Rakeb Messele, EHRC Women and Children’s Rights Department Director
“It should therefore be taken as a springboard for the required review and amendment of both child related policies and other ones to ensure they are child-friendly,” the director said.
This is the reason Aspiration 2 of the Agenda puts emphasis on bringing about an effective child-friendly national legislative, policy and institutional framework in all Member States, she said.
Current estimates are that 53% of the Ethiopian population is under 18, while 43.5% or 45,850,000 is less than 15 years old.
Featured Image: File: Internally displaced families at an IDP site in the East Hararghe Zone. [Photo: File/UNICEF 2018/Mulugeta Ayene]