SOS Children’s Villages discuss progress in child protection

13 Feb 2019 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – Thirty child protection officials from 27 African countries and participants from the SOS International Office in Austria are gathered in Windhoek to develop a strategy for the Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) SOS Children’s Villages.
The meeting, which will also discuss and share the latest developments in child protection, commenced on Monday to conclude on Friday.
Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Executive Director, Wilhencia Uiras at the opening ceremony said the Namibian Government has put in place legislative and policy frameworks to ensure that the rights of children in Namibia are protected and translated into concrete and measurable success.
“We in Namibia can pride ourselves with the achievements we made in this regard as we were recently classified as one of the most child-friendly countries by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF),” Uiras said.
The Child-Friendliness Index (CFI) developed by the ACPF serves as a robust statistical framework for scoring and ranking African governments’ performance in fulfilling their obligations to children.
Namibia has been ranked seventh on the CFI after Mauritius, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Cape Verde and Egypt.
Namibia celebrates this result in immunisation and nutrition of children.
The total number of deaths of children under five years has been brought down from 4 200 per year in 1990 to less than 3 000 in 2013, noted Uiras.
Additionally, Namibia celebrates the proportion of children under the age of five registered for birth certificates at 87 per cent which is amongst the highest in Africa.
Speaking at the same event, SOS Children’s Villages Association Namibia national director Leonard Diergaardt highlighted the need to address child abuse.
“We are living in a world where moral turpitude and ethical degradation are common and it consumes the fibre that keeps societies together. Child abuse - in all forms, are common. We have a task to bring change; societal behavioural change.”
SOS will this year be celebrating the 100th birthday of its founder, Hermann Gmeiner and 70 years of SOS Children’s Villages work internationally.