International Day of the African Child 2019: History, Theme And Significance of Day Focusing on the Upliftment of African Children
International Day of the African Child (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

International Day of the African Child is observed on June 16 every year since the establishment of Organization of the African Unity in 1991. The day aims at raising awareness about the condition of African children and how there is an urgent need to provide them with a better standard of living. The day of African Child encourages people to share something special with a child in Africa. International Day of the African Child commemorates those killed on June 16, 1976, during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. On International Day of the African Child 2019, various events and programs are held across Africa and other countries highlighting their problems. The theme of International Day of the African Child 2019 is 'Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children's Rights First'.

The day recognises the courage of students who marched for their right to better education. About ten thousand black school children had marched in a column protesting against the poor quality of their education. They also demanded to be taught in their own language. However, hundreds of young children were shot and the weeks following witness protests in the region leading to more deaths. Hector Pieterson, a young South African schoolboy being the face of the uprising after a photo of the child being carried by a Soweto resident was published in newspapers. His death anniversary is celebrated as Youth Day in South Africa where they honour young people and highlight their needs.

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This year Day of African Child is being celebrated at #Ampain Refugee Camp in the Western Region of Ghana.

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Various NGOs, governments, international organisations and private institutions come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of African children. Out of 57 million primary school-age children currently that are out of school around the world, over half are from sub-Saharan Africa. While progress has been made in various fields since the Soweto Uprising, 1 in 10 children still does not attend school.