ABOUT JUSTICE FOR AFRICA'S CHILDREN
Africa's children are increasingly excluded from progress on a wealth of children's rights, with notable increases in the number of child labourers, children out of school, and malnutrition, where much of the rest of the world is seeing reductions. These glaring injustices are being taken up Laureates and Leaders for Children, and we are intensifying our work on achieving a fair share for the world's most marginalised children by focusing attention on Africa.
Laureates and Leaders for Children mobilised its network to advocate for the right of Africa's children to be free during the Sixth European Union-African Union Summit. Following a roundtable consultation with African leaders and activists, chaired by Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, 95 Nobel Laureates and world leaders signed the 'Justice for Africa's Children' Joint Statement, which called for targeted action to end child labour. Children's rights were included in the opening of the Summit's final declaration.
Laureates and Leaders for Children hosted a packed side event during the UN General Assembly. The event, 'Justice for Africa's Children', brought together world leaders and Nobel laureates with survivors of child exploitation from Uganda, Cameroon, and India. The young survivors and youth leaders from around the world formed a strong delegation, led by the 100 Million campaign, and took their message of justice to the Transforming Education Summit at the UN, and to meetings with high-level human rights actors.
Written with the 100 Million campaign, Laureates and Leaders for Children published its landmark report, Justice for Africa's Children. The report exposes the massive injustices created and perpetuated by discrimination, which are disproportionately harming the world’s most vulnerable children - Africa's children. Launched at a virtual event, a high-level panel including our Steering Committee members Kailash Satyarthi, Leymah Gbowee, and Stefan Lӧfven, highlighted the seven global injustices and five national injustices which are leaving African children further and further behind.
The 100 Million campaign is leading a global mobilisation of survivors and youth activists to advocate for the demands called for in the Justice for Africa's Children report, alongside national demands specific to the needs identified by the campaign's national partners and chapters. 'Justice for Africa: Don't Cut Our Future' runs on the International Day for Social Justice, 20 February 2023.
2023 AND BEYOND
Laureates and Leaders for Children will be focused on advocating for the demands of the Justice for Africa's Children report at international and national fora. Supporters will be invited to participate in events and mobilisations.
FOUNDATION FOR JUSTICE
Africa and her allies must form a movement to create a firm foundation for justice for Africa’s children.
This includes domestic policy change and reprioritisation of budgets to deliver public services such as education, health, and social protection, and advocating internationally for:
fairer voting power and representation for African states in international fora - such as the G20 and the IMF;
the cancellation of unsustainable debt and fairer international tax and trade rules: taxes must be paid in the countries from which profits are generated, including the extraction of Africa’s natural resources; and
increasing ODA and climate financing and ring-fencing it for low-income sub-Saharan countries.
EVERY CHILD FREE: GLOBAL CHILD BENEFIT
The swift instigation and financing of a Global Child Benefit Initiative to provide benefits to every child and new mother in low-income countries.
Low-income countries need an approved plan and to commit 1% of their GDP in universal child and maternity benefits, to be eligible for the scheme.
Participating high-income countries pledge to cover the rest of the financing by making social protection at least half the same percentage of their ODA expenditure as it is of their domestic expenditure.
Multilateral funding should be organised by and applied through the UN structure so that it strengthens the system and ensures funds are paid directly to marginalised children and their families, without discrimination, and with no additional conditionalities.
EVERY CHILD HEALTHY: SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMMES
School feeding programmes must be restored, and extended to the 73 million most vulnerable children in the world - 86% of whom live in Africa.
An investment of $5.8 billion per year would enable this expansion, and it would also be sufficient to provide integrated health services in schools.
Donor and African governments alike have a shared responsibility to support this expansion, by providing adequate financing for education as well as school feeding programmes.
EVERY CHILD EDUCATED: FINANCING EDUCATION THROUGH SDRs
High-income countries could deliver their repeated commitments to education by rectifying the unjust allocation of Special Drawing Rights and focusing their use on education.
The IMF must either reallocate the SDRs fairly by population or issue a new allocation of SDRs to the value of at least $2.35 trillion for underrepresented countries, in line with the civil society call for a total of $3 trillion.
High-income countries must agree to only keep the SDRs proportional to their population, and to pool the rest of the funds as a 7-year fund to achieve at least Sustainable Development Goal 4 in low- and lower-middle-income countries. This would provide $5 billion a year for low-income countries and $22 billion a year for lower-middle-income countries until 2030.
Funds should be allocated to national plans approved by the Global Partnership for Education, particularly those addressing universal access to education and solving the teacher crisis.