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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Advocating for the inclusion of children's rights in the Constitution
    Justice for Children Trust
    July 10, 2009

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    Children become advocates of their own rights: Interviews with the Select Committee chairpersons

    Children selected from various sectors held interviews with the co-chairpersons of the Parliamentary Select Committee, Honourable MPs Mangwana and Mwonzora on 19th of June 2009 and the 23rd of June 2009 respectively. The children asked questions on various pertinent issues which covered children with disability, child labour, HIV and AIDS, children in the streets, education, health, birth registration and protection with the two chairpersons. The children also lobbied the two co-chairpersons to consider child participation in the constitutional making process and the inclusion of children's rights in the constitution.

    Children's cluster preparatory meeting for the People's Convention

    The children's cluster which is being chaired by JCT held a meeting on the 1st of July 2009 in preparation of the Peoples' Convention. 24 members representing some 20 children's organisations came up with some principles and issues that they wanted considered in the constitutional making process.

    Children's cluster deliberations at the All People's Convention

    The children cluster was well represented at the People's Convention and the cluster which was being chaired by JCT came up with critical issues, key demands, and specific principles. The key engaged engagement points and post convention points are as listed below;

    1. Critical Issues

    A. The constitution should have a section on children's rights and responsibilities in the Bill of Rights. The current constitution bundles children's rights with adults, making it easy to leave out important issues that affect children as a special and specific group.

    B. The rights should cover survival, development, participation and protection.

    • Survival eg -the right to health, the right to basic social services, the right to food, the right to shelter, sanitation and safe and clean water.
    • Development eg- the right to education, the right to nutrition, etc
    • Participation eg- the right to freedom of association and the right to be heard in all matters that affect them
    • Protection eg the right to identity and nationality, the right to protection against all forms of abuse, the right to alternative care where parental care is impossible etc

    C. Where violation occurs, there should be redress through the courts. The state's obligation as a duty bearer should be clearly stated.

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