Invitation to Join the Movement

In May 2008, 150 child and youth-focused organizations and individuals joined in the founding of the Africa-Wide Movement for Children (AMC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The founding was the culmination of years of preparation by The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN), the Coalition of NGOs working for Children in Africa (CONAFE) and the Uganda Child Rights National Network (UCRNN), UCRNN, Environmental Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (RAPCAN), SOS Children Villages and African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY).

These organizations were clear in their assertion that it was time to for a collective response if substantive progress for the realization of the rights and wellbeing of Africa’s children were to be made. However, they faced very real challenges towards this end. These include the following:

a) Despite all governments’ and NGOs efforts, Africa remains the world’s region with the highest rate of absolute child poverty.
b) Child rights organizations have several constraints:

i. Most of them lack strong institutional capacities, resources and information.
ii. They are vulnerable to constant threats of their operations being closed or suspended.
iii. They have to continuously deal with shifting goal posts of donors.

c) The child rights agenda is subject to political, economic, social and international interests where civil societies are used as pawns between governments and donors.
d) Child rights organizations across Africa are not well organized and coordinated in their advocacy work.
e) Many child rights organizations have little or no information about developments at the African Union and other pan-African levels that can have direct impact on their work.

The AMC was therefore launched as an association of institutions and individuals working with and for children in the areas of children’s rights and wellbeing in Africa. Recognising that challenges facing children in Africa today is fast eroding traditional boundaries between local, national and regional challenges, the AMC envisions a Movement that will provide a platform and a framework for strategic partnership across national borders but also work within countries through its membership to nurture and strengthen cooperation and coordination between and among stakeholders through information sharing and concerted advocacy efforts.