16 June 2022 Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho. The African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat (APRM) at the invitation of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) participated in the High-Level Symposium on Harmful Practices Affecting Children on the occasion of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) held on 16 June 2022 at Lesotho Avani, Maseru City, Kingdom of Lesotho.
The High-Level Symposium and the commemoration of the Day of the African Child were attended by Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Queen of the Kingdom of Lesotho; Hon ‘Matsepo Ramakoae, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of Lesotho; Hon. Keketso Sello, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security and Acting Minister of Social Development of Lesotho; Hon. Ndayisenga Joseph, Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and Members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Representatives of African Union Organs; Partners; Representatives of Civil Society Organizations; and African Children.
The APRM Secretariat was represented by the Ag. Chief of Staff, Adv. Batlokoa Makong and the secretariat staff responsible for ACERWC, Mr. Bachir Salifou Oumarou. The Day of the African Child was commemorated under the theme “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress in Policy and Practice since 2013”. The Day of the African Child (DAC) is significant as it provides an occasion for reflection and discussion on the state of children’s rights in Africa, the progress made, and the challenges being faced. Therefore, it’s imperative that the African Union Member States strive to foster an Africa fit for children in accordance with Agenda 2040 for Child in Africa. The participants assessed the implementation of the policy and practice since 2013 on Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children. The APRM addresses the rights of children and those of vulnerable groups more precisely in the thematic area of Democracy and Political Governance (DPG), such as groups that are particularly at risk of maltreatment or exclusion from the political process. These groups include children, the youth, the elderly, women, the disabled, indigenous populations, ethnic minorities, migrant workers, and the poor.
As part of the peer-review process, the APRM presents the findings of its reports to the African Union Organs and Institutions as well as to the African Union Regional Economic Communities (RECs). Consequently, the APRM will have the opportunity to present the findings of its peer-reviewed reports with the ACERWC at its next ordinary session scheduled to take place in October 2022.