Africa’s children deserve justice and protection

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Global pandemics such as Ebola and Covid-19 remind us of the need to protect and promote the rights of children across the African continent. Picture: iStock
Global pandemics such as Ebola and Covid-19 remind us of the need to protect and promote the rights of children across the African continent. Picture: iStock

Every child has a right to education, best attainable standards of health, and protection from abuse, torture and labour which interfere with the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development.

However, Covid-19 has had an adverse effect on the rights and welfare of children in Africa, particularly on the right to education. Despite measures to use digital platforms to deliver lessons, many children still cannot access these and the lack of access further aggravates vulnerable children across the continent. The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced school closures in 191 countries, affecting at least 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary teachers.

According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, half of all students currently out of the classroom – or nearly 830 million pupils globally – do not have access to a computer. Additionally, more than 40% have no internet access at home.

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