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AU marks Day of African Child with focus on education to children

ADDIS ABABA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Monday marked the Day of African Child 2014 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.

The Day presents an opportunity for all Stake-holders on children's rights, including government, non-governmental and international entities, to reflect on issues affecting children, according to AU.

The Day of African Child 2014 was commemorated under the theme "A Child Friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa."

AU said it aims to ensure the achievement of Article 11 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC).

In his remarks at the opening of the celebration today, Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, reiterated that AU celebrates the Day of African Child on 16 June every year in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa.

The students protested against an education designed to further the purposes of the apartheid regime.

The AU Assembly in 1991 passed a resolution designating 16 June as a Day for the celebration of the African child.

Today's celebrations at AU include, children's performance of songs, drama, play, talent show as well as question and answer sessions among others.

In his opening remarks, Nigel Chapman, CEO of Plan International, noted that all children have the right to an education and the future of the African continent, and the world depends on them having access to that right.

"At Plan, we are calling on the AU to call on their member states and remind them of their commitments and responsibility to promote, protect and fulfill the right to education for all children," he said.

"We are calling on African governments to take action for you, their children and for their own countries, and invest achieving a quality education for all. And to target those investments on those children who need it the most, girls, children with disabilities, rurally isolated and those affected by conflict," he added.

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