Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and Stakeholders Evaluates the Child Policy Act Across the Region

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and Stakeholders Evaluates the Child Policy Act Across the Region

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and Stakeholders Evaluates the Child Policy Act Across the Region

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and Stakeholders Evaluates the Child Policy Act Across the Region

The ECOWAS Commission under the directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs organized a two 2-day Online Evaluation Meeting on implementation of the ECOWAS Child Policy with the Directors Responsible for Child Protection from Member States, 12th to 13th July 2023. The considered the validation of the draft ECOWAS Child Rights Information Systems (ECRIMS), assessment of levels of implementation of the ECOWAS Child Policy by Member States, building the capacities of Member States Directors in charge of Child Rights on implementation of the ECOWAS Child Policy and related child rights instruments and facilitation of the determination of key priorities and formulation of plans by Member States in advancing the rights of the Child in West Africa.

At the Opening Ceremony, the ECOWAS Director for Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, recalled the adoption of the initiail ECOWAS Child Policy in 2008 and the revised policy 2019 to 2023. The scope of the revised Child Policy is predicated on a number of core factors issues in relation to the rights of children in West Africa, including the problems of multi-dimensional child poverty, the Impact of climate change, natural disasters and environmental hazards on children; crises, conflicts and children in emergencies; gender inequalities affecting children and other cross-cutting vulnerabilities and issues. The Policy also encompasses the situation of children in the region with special needs and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed include those with disabilities, those affected by HIV/AIDS, children on the move including forcibly displaced children, and children in contact with the law. The Director called on all participants to actively participate in the meeting and recommit the collective vision for the welfare all children. The  Representative  of the Child Development Department , Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Nigeria, Mrs Mariam Shaibu in her opening address stated that the meeting was timely and congratulated ECOWAS for its various initiatives dovoted to improving the rights of the child.

The Meeting featured the presentation of the Child Policy and Strategic Plan 2019-2030, the draft ECOWAS Child Rights Information Management System( ECRIMS), the Template for reporting on Implementation of Child Policy by Member States and other initiatives and activities on Child Rights by the ECOWAS Commission. Member States also presented the status of implementation of the ECOWAS Child Policy in thier countries and highlighted key areas of priority for the future.

In her Closing Remarks, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, represented by Mr. Olatunde Olayemi thanked the participants for the keen insights brought to the fore in the meeting and the commitment of the Member States, including in thier agreement to submit all Country Reports for 2023 and continued collaboration in the establishment of the ECRIMS.

Participants at the workshop, in addition Officers from the ECOWAS Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs and Member States Directors responsible for Child Rights, included a number of member organizations of the the Regional Working Group on Child Protection (RWGP), namely : UNICEF, MAEJT,SSI-AO,SOS Village d’enfants.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).