Advocacy Movement Network (AMNet),a child rights based organization has engaged the Press on the 2007 Child Rights Act in a sensitization workshop held over the weekend at the Miatta conference hall in Freetown.
Advocacy Movement is a Non Governmental Organization formed in 2004 to promote the rights of children, women’s empowerment, youth empowerment and peace building initiatives.
The one day workshop organized for media practitioners all over the country is geared towards capacitating the media on how to handle issues relating to children’s right.
Sylvi Kaarina Hill, a consultant from UNICEF attached to the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs was one of the facilitators of the worksop. She gave a brief introduction and update of the Child Rights Act and its activities.
She noted that since the Child Right Act is one of the recent laws in Sierra Leone it will take time for people to understand the provisions of the Act considering the fact that the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs has to set up chiefdom child Welfare committees in all 149 districts in the country.
The consultant clearly explained the twelve main issues discussed in the CRA.They include: right to life and to grow and develop, right to have a name that has been legally registered, the right to live with your parents and family. Also the right to live in dignity and to be treated with respect; the right to receive a fair share of your parents property; right to be protected from war and violent conflict; the right to take part in sports, in cultural and artistic activities; right to special care, education and support; the right to say what you think should happen when adults have to take decisions that affects you; the right to be protected by Government from having to do any kind of work that is dangerous; the right to be protected from torture and harsh treatment or punishment and the twelfth right which stated that nobody under the age of eighteen is allowed to get married.
Madam Hawa Samai, Chief Executive Officer of AMNet dilated on the matrix of the Child Rights Act. She explained the objectives of the Act, the target audience and strategies that have been recommended by stakeholders to inform and educate the general populace on the Act.