Thirty years since the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ARCWC), various measures have been put in place by African governments to advance children’s rights and wellbeing. Adopted on 11 July 1990, at a time when most African societies were guided by customary and traditional approaches to child care and protection, the ACRWC has since proven to be a unique instrument for fostering a rights based approach to dealing with children in Africa. Although similar to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in many respects, the ACRWC pays attention to special circumstances pertaining to Africa as a continent, such as the responsibilities of the child and protection of children from harmful practices.
To date, the ACRWC has been ratified by 49 countries and the African Union has adopted several initiatives aimed at putting children at the centre of the AU agenda. These include the constitution of the monitoring body for the ACRWC, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC); the adoption of regional development policy goals for children, such as The African Common Position on Children (the Declaration and Plan of Action as well as the Call for Accelerated Action Towards an Africa Fit for Children), and Agenda 2040, Africa's Agenda for Children: Fostering an Africa Fit for Children. These efforts are aimed at promoting action amongst African governments that is guided by the best interests of children with the aim of putting children at the centre of public policy. In its pioneering studies on harmonisation of laws on children, coupled with the flagship biennial report - the African Report on Child Wellbeing, ACPF has for years been following up these efforts as a way of monitoring government accountability towards their obligations in the ACRWC, the CRC, and other instruments related to children. Despite the progress being uneven, many countries have made commendable effort in harmonising their domestic laws with the ACRWC but effort in provision of children’s rights seems to still be lagging behind, 30 years after the adoption of the ACRWC. In 2018, the ACERWC adopted its fifth General Comment, based on Article 1 of the ACRWC, which seeks to guide both state and non-state actors/bodies on how best to give effect to the provisions and principles enshrined in the ACRWC and other related instruments. The General Comment highlights specific areas in which governments are expected to make interventions in the implementation of child rights and wellbeing. This involves taking the necessary legal, policy, budgetary, administrative and other appropriate measures, including strengthening of child protection systems, taking into account the regional specificities and good practices in Africa.
This year, as Africa celebrates this momentous occasion of three decades of children’s rights in Africa, it is pertinent to examine the progress made in ensuring that children’s rights are substantively achieved. Accordingly, ACPF seeks to assess the status of child rights in Africa, 30 years since the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and make recommendations on actions required to protect and promote child rights and wellbeing in the continent. The findings will further be translated into a separate infographics report highlighting the major milestones, both in terms of critical challenges and developments, with facts, figures, diagrams and pictures.
The overall objective of the assessment is to examine the progress made and challenges faced in Africa in advancing child rights since the adoption of the ACRWC, inorder to rekindle regional and national commitment to child rights and wellbeing in Africa.
More specifically, the assessment will:
· Review the progress made in promoting child rights and wellbeing in Africa since 1990
· Analyse the role played by the ACERWC in catalysing the domestication and implementation of the ACRWC
· Examine the major challenges faced by children in Africa over the thirty-year period since the adoption of the ACRWC
· Build upon major successes, milestones and lessons learned in Africa in advancing child rights over the 30 years of the ACRWC
· Identify priorities and make recommendations on the future of child rights in Africa
C. SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
Using the key elements for implementing child rights and wellbeing identified in General Comment No. 5 of the ACERWC, the assessment will examine the progress made and challenges encountered related to child rights in Africa from the perspective of the ACERWC, African government, CSOs and development partners. The report will cover the whole of Africa, as much as possible drawing on examples from all the five regions. The assessment will therefore be guided by the following areas of intervention as stipulated in the General Comment, taking into account the specificities of the African continent.
a. Legislative and policy measures adopted since the adoption of the ACRWC
- Measures in strengthening child protection systems
- Measures in promoting positive customary, traditional and religious practices towards children
- Coordination mechanisms involving multiple stakeholders
- Budgeting for children, efficient resource use and domestic revenue mobilisation
- Data collection
- Training, capacity building and awareness raising
- Collaboration with CSOs, CBOs and the private sector
- Child participation and the role of the State
- Independent child rights monitoring
The assessment will involve mixed methods of data collection and analysis, to be conducted at multiple levels: Pan-African, regional and national. This will include comprehensive review of documents (instruments, reports and relevant publications) on child rights and wellbeing in Africa, and virtual consultations with key informants in selected countries and regional institutions. The selection of countries will be based on regional representation as well as the 2018 edition ACPF’s Child-friendliness Index, looking at the most-child-friendly and least child-friendly governments, while at the same time also ensuring regional representation. Finally, the report will include targeted calls for contributions in the form of statements from prominent institutions, individuals and children who have significantly contributed to positively changing the child rights landscape in Africa.
The Consultant(s) will be expected to deliver the following outputs;
i. A detailed inception report outlining the Consultants’ understanding of the assignment and the approach to be employed. The inception report should be submitted to ACPF 10 days from the date of signing the contract.
ii. A detailed report on 30 years of implementing children’s rights and promoting child wellbeing in Africa. The report should not exceed 80 pages and should be written in a simple, easy to read language and style, having busy policy makers in mind.
The consultancy is a home-based assignment.
The consultancy shall be completed by 30 August 2020. **
The Consultant(s) shall be paid according to ACPF’s procurement and compensation policy.
H. REQUIRED COMPETENCIES
- An advanced university degree in - Human Rights Law, Child Rights, International Law, Development Studies, Social Sciences or any other related field
- Excellent knowledge of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the work of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
- Experience in child rights programming, monitoring, research, or development of child related policies in Africa for not less than 10 years.
- Previous experience in developing similar types of reports will be an added advantage.
- Excellent knowledge of trends in human rights and child rights issues in Africa
- Fluency in spoken and written English
- Excellent writing and analytical skills.
How to apply
Qualified candidates should send their applications - comprising a resume (no more than 3 pages), a technical and financial proposal, and a sample of previous work on child rights - to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be submitted no later than 5 June 2020.