THE Ministry of Social Development will on Tuesday commemorate the Day of the African Child (DAC) in Quthing.
The ministry said the celebrations, which are held on the 16th of June annually across Africa, will this year be held in Quthing due to the high number of vulnerable children found in the district.
Last year, many children in the district were affected by hail storms that ravaged Mt Moorosi and surrounding areas in Quthing leaving some children seriously injured while some had their homes destroyed.
The district also has several child headed families as most parents leave their homes to neighbouring South Africa in search of greener pastures.
The Acting Minister of Social Development, Temeki Tsolo, told the media this week that it was against this background that they chose to commemorate this year’s DAC at A’skop, Tšepong in Quthing on Tuesday.
Mr Tsolo said since this year’s commemorations are being held under the theme ‘Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First’ they are going to the district to discuss and share ideas with the residents about the respect of children’s rights.
Mr Tsolo said the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) will soon be moving to Lesotho, they have to work hard to ensure that that children’s rights are respected. The office was previously in Ethiopia and is expected to move to Lesotho in August this year.
“We are pleased that we are going to have such an office in the country and we need to work hard to protect children’s rights to become good example in other countries,” Mr Tsolo said.
“We can achieve this by joining hands to spread messages about children in a more appropriate and respective manner which shapes them.”
Mr Tsolo said they decided to move the commemorations to Tuesday since the 16th falls on a Sunday.
According to the AU website: “In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and government of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) instituted the DAC in memory of the 16th of June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa”.
“At that time, students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages.
“The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defence of their rights. The DAC thus celebrates the children of Africa and calls for a serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent.
“The day should not be celebrated by State Parties and other stakeholders as an event but rather as a process that draws on previous celebrations to create synergies that improve the realisation of the rights of children under national and international law,” the website reads.