Child Rights Governance
ACJ has been advocating for the implementation of Child Rights through engagement with treaty and charter-based Human Rights bodies such as the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) for Sustainable Development.
ACJ serves as a proponent for the establishment of laws and policies that are in the best interest of children in Zambia. ACJ works towards creating an environment that safeguards the rights of children and ensures their protection against abuse, neglect, and exploitation. For over 16 years, ACJ has participated in the review of Child-related laws in Zambia. For example, leading to the drafting of the Children’s Code Bill. ACJ further played a very key role in the enactment of the Children’s Code Act No. 12 of 2022.
Currently, ACJ actively involves various stakeholders in the implementation of the Children’s Code Act by conducting capacity-building initiatives and creating awareness on its provisions. ACJ recognizes that the successful implementation of child-friendly policies and laws requires the participation of a broad range of stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, traditional and religious leaders, communities, and parents.
In 2019, ACJ led and mobilized the National Child Rights Forum members, other CSOs and children in developing and submitting the first ever list of Issues prior to Zambia’s reporting (LOIPR) under the simplified reporting procedure to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). A catalogue of key child rights concerns was presented to the UNCRC, and a significant portion of them were approved and transformed into inquiries directed towards the government during Zambia’s state party reporting.
In 2021, ACJ as the National Child Right’s Forum coordinator (NCRF), in collaboration with Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA) led the development of the alternative report to Zambia’s combined fifth, sixth and seventh state party report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. During the same period, ACJ led and mobilized the development of the Child-led shadow report on the combined second, third and fourth periodic state party report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.