With these glaring statistics on child marriage in Africa, the African Union launched a historic Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa (AU CECM) on the 29th of May 2014 during the 4th AU Conference of Ministers of Social Development, offering a Continental Model in Africa that calls for multi-sectoral coordination with clear national action plans, legislative reform to preserve human right against child marriage in national laws and policies, programmes as well as enhancing investments to support access to essential services such as Education, sexual and reproductive health as alternative to ending child marriage.
In addition, in 2017, the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment called on member states to accelerate efforts to operationalize an AU high level Monitoring and Follow up Mechanism in order to assess progress on ending child marriage.
Furthermore, in 2018, the Peace and Security Council of the AU held an open session on ending child marriage in Africa and underlined the need for member states to develop a comprehensive multi-stakeholder, coordinated approaches and engage community and traditional leaders, government, law enforcement agencies, school leaders and teachers, health and social workers, CSOs, media and private sector.
Despite adoption of the Campaign by up to 30 member states ( Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad , Cote d’ivoire , the Democratic , Republic of Congo, Egypt , Lesotho , Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania ,Mozambique , Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia , and Zimbabwe) , and other commitments towards treaties and international commitments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the African charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and SDG 5.3 to end child marriage by 2030, there are persisting challenges to achieving the elimination of harmful practices and gender inequality in Africa.
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