Call for UN Urgent Action for Girls at Greatest Risk

As a Nominee, I recently attended the Honorary Decade Child Rights Heroes Awards in Sweden where I met several other child rights activists from a number of different countries.  During our discussions, it became apparent that there is an urgent need to put a stop to the terrible atrocities thousands of children in Africa are suffering at this moment in time.  This is why I write as one voice for all of us – we cannot afford delays when it comes to the life of a child.

Many of these children have no-one to turn to for help within their own country.  In these cases, their only hope would be to report their problems directly to the United Nations as this would hopefully help to reduce some of the bureaucracy and bring speedier results.  We would like to do everything within our power to help these victims and it will be greatly appreciated if you could advise us on the following:

  • Have any of the atrocities listed below been brought to the UN’s attention?
  • If so, what plans are in motion to put a stop to them?
  • Could children who cannot get help in their own country be given access to the UN so that they could report their predicament directly?
  • May we send reports from time to time to keep you updated on serious issues?
  • May we be advised on the protocol for us to present our concerns or complaints to you?
  • As there are many people involved in this international problem, would it be possible to set up a conference call during which a question and answer time could take place?

Below are some of the recent and ongoing atrocities suffered by children in Africa.  They are all in need of extremely urgent attention and we would appreciate your comments and advice on whether these cases have already been brought to your attention and, if so, what action is being taken:

Child “Witches” in Nigeria

When a child is accused of being a witch, that child is hated absolutely by everybody surrounding him so such children are sent out of the home.  Unfortunately such children do not always live long.  Many of them are either killed, abandoned by their parents, tortured in the church or trafficked out of the city.

The Rape of Virgins due to AIDS Cure Myth – Ongoing in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa:
There is a surge in the rape of children and even babies, fuelled by a myth that sex with a virgin will protect a man against AIDS.  Recently, in Zimbabwe, 19 men raped a 9 year because of this myth.

Girl Children forced into marriage – Ongoing in Sub-Saharan Africa:

There have been recent events in Africa where a seven year old girl was forced to marry a 50 year old man and where a 14 year old girl had her ears and fingers sliced off by her father in law in Tanzania for playing outside with friends and shunning her role of being a wife.

Poverty, religion, tradition, and conflict make the incidence of child marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa a major problem.

Female Genital Mutilation

In Africa, about three million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation each year.  Some girls are as young as 5 or 6 years of age and every girl is forced into this situation against her will.  There are many complications which set in through these circumcisions and every one of these girls has their human rights taken from them.

Women and Children’s Suffering Caused through war in the DRC and Sudan:
The war in the DRC has claimed an estimated three million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. It has been called possibly the worst emergency to unfold in Africa in recent decades.

The Rape of Women and Babies in the DRC

It has recently been reported that some 240 women, girls and babies have been raped after rebels seized a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Child Soldiers in the DRC and Sudan

DRC – Child Soldiers

School-age children have become the latest targets for armed groups in the DRC. Recently, as the fighting between the Congolese army and rebels there has escalated, more children are being kidnapped to bolster numbers among the rebels.

Sudan – Child Soldiers

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) promised to demobilise all child soldiers by the end of the year but how far has this plan progressed?  Children are still being used as soldiers when they should have been released from this unacceptable situation with no delay at all.

As a Nominee, I recently attended the Honorary Decade Child Rights Heroes Awards in Sweden where I met several other child rights activists from a number of different countries.  During our discussions, it became apparent that there is an urgent need to put a stop to the terrible atrocities thousands of children in Africa are suffering at this moment in time.  This is why I write as one voice for all of us – we cannot afford delays when it comes to the life of a child.

Many of these children have no-one to turn to for help within their own country.  In these cases, their only hope would be to report their problems directly to the United Nations as this would hopefully help to reduce some of the bureaucracy and bring speedier results.  We would like to do everything within our power to help these victims and it will be greatly appreciated if you could advise us on the following:

  • Have any of the atrocities listed below been brought to the UN’s attention?
  • If so, what plans are in motion to put a stop to them?
  • Could children who cannot get help in their own country be given access to the UN so that they could report their predicament directly?
  • May we send reports from time to time to keep you updated on serious issues?
  • May we be advised on the protocol for us to present our concerns or complaints to you?
  • As there are many people involved in this international problem, would it be possible to set up a conference call during which a question and answer time could take place?

Below are some of the recent and ongoing atrocities suffered by children in Africa.  They are all in need of extremely urgent attention and we would appreciate your comments and advice on whether these cases have already been brought to your attention and, if so, what action is being taken:

Child “Witches” in Nigeria:

When a child is accused of being a witch, that child is hated absolutely by everybody surrounding him so such children are sent out of the home.  Unfortunately such children do not always live long.  Many of them are either killed, abandoned by their parents, tortured in the church or trafficked out of the city.

The Rape of Virgins due to AIDS Cure Myth – Ongoing in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa:

There is a surge in the rape of children and even babies, fuelled by a myth that sex with a virgin will protect a man against AIDS.  Recently, in Zimbabwe, 19 men raped a 9 year because of this myth.

Girl Children forced into marriage – Ongoing in Sub-Saharan Africa:

There have been recent events in Africa where a seven year old girl was forced to marry a 50 year old man and where a 14 year old girl had her ears and fingers sliced off by her father in law in Tanzania for playing outside with friends and shunning her role of being a wife.

Poverty, religion, tradition, and conflict make the incidence of child marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa a major problem.

Female Genital Mutilation

In Africa, about three million girls are at risk of female genital mutilation each year.  Some girls are as young as 5 or 6 years of age and every girl is forced into this situation against her will.  There are many complications which set in through these circumcisions and every one of these girls has their human rights taken from them.

Women and Children’s Suffering Caused through war in the DRC and Sudan:

The war in the DRC has claimed an estimated three million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. It has been called possibly the worst emergency to unfold in Africa in recent decades

The Rape of Women and Babies in the DRC

It has recently been reported that some 240 women, girls and babies have been raped after rebels seized a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Child Soldiers in the DRC and Sudan

DRC – Child Soldiers

School-age children have become the latest targets for armed groups in the DRC. Recently, as the fighting between the Congolese army and rebels there has escalated, more children are being kidnapped to bolster numbers among the rebels.

Sudan – Child Soldiers

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) promised to demobilise all child soldiers by the end of the year but how far has this plan progressed?  Children are still being used as soldiers when they should have been released from this unacceptable situation with no delay at all.