By: Koena Mokobocho

The Consortium on Children on the Move and Child Labor was launched on Friday, April 12, at Avani Maseru, marking a major advancement in the protection of African children’s rights and welfare.

Leading the charge in the battle against forced child migration, violence, and exploitation throughout the continent is the African Union, in collaboration with partners inclusive of the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration IOM.

The goal of the collaboration is very clear: to offer a strong foundation for addressing structural problems. The consortium establishes a safe environment where children can flourish without fear of exploitation, or damage.

This is done by raising awareness and encouraging real-world cooperation with stakeholders, including educators and law enforcement authorities.

The consortium made its debut on Monday 15th April at the official opening of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children, at Avani Lesotho.

This session, a cornerstone event in Lesotho’s commitment to children’s rights, is a platform for policymakers, advocates, and stakeholders to address emerging challenges and chart a path towards a brighter future for african youth.

“Empowering Children and Adolescents through Quality Education for the Realization of Their Rights and Welfare,” is this year’s session theme, which emphasizes the vital role that education plays in defending children’s rights and promoting their holistic development.

This issue is relevant to the realities encountered by African families, as numbers of children on the continent are denied access to high-quality education owing to obstacles such as poverty and conflict.

Education serves to break the poverty cycle and exploitation, empowering children to become active participants in their communities and agents of positive change. By ensuring access to quality education for all children, regardless of their background or circumstances, African nations can unlock the full potential of their youth and pave way for a more prosperous and equitable future.

In light of this significant meeting, Mr. Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development (HSS) at the African Union Commission, and Head of the Division of Labor, Employment, and Migration, emphasizes the significance of group efforts in fostering a safer environment for African children.

He underlines the necessity of collaboration of stakeholders to achieve the shared objective of defending the rights and welfare of children, including communities and civil society organizations.

In conclusion, the launch of the Consortium on children on the move and child labor, coupled with its presence at the 43rd ordinary session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children, represents a significant step forward in Africa’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and welfare of its most vulnerable population.

By joining forces and prioritizing the needs of children, African nations can build a more inclusive and prosperous future for generations too.