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African governments must respect children's rights

Africa: African governments must respect children's rights

On the Day of the African Child, Amnesty International is calling on African governments to ratify the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child*, where they have not done so already, and for all governments to rapidly put into practice the terms of the Charter.

Everyday, African children continue to be used as soldiers, often to fight on the front line, or as porters, messengers, guards, or cooks. Girls are used as sexual slaves or are given a gun and sent into combat. Millions of other children across Africa suffer daily violations of their rights to food, shelter, health and education.

"Africa's future is blighted by the denial of children's rights and African governments have an obligation to put an end to this," Amnesty International said.

* Burundi, Central African Republic, the Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe and Sudan have yet to sign the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia have signed, but not yet ratified the Charter.

For more information on child soldiers please visit

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