Education Above All

On this memorable Day of the African Child, we, the children of the province of Kasai -Occidental, want to advocate against the violation of the right  of the child to education.

Article 28States Parties recognize the right of the child to education
Education is one of the fundamental rights of the child.  The State must assure this right, as stipulated in article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, because education can contribute in a way or another to the peace and development of a country.

We have made the bitter observation, to the extent that too many children do not go to school because they must work, that certain parents have abandoned their task as educators.

This can be explained by the lack of employment, which does not permit parents  to have the necessary resources to meet the needs of their children.  Thus, many parents have given up their responsibilities.  There exists an inversion of roles. Children are thus obliged to take care of their parents, the members of their families.

The presence of children in mines in various territories of the province of Kasai-Occidental manifestly illustrates this.  Children are engaged in hard and difficult work which takes all their time, from one week to a month, even years.  In these conditions, it is no longer possible for these children to obtain an education from their parents, church or even school.

ZAI_Kipushi_Mines_22 Aug 2011 036

Outside children’s work in mines, there is also the economic exploitation of children by their parents and many other types of work which do not allow children to be educated as they should.

This is why We, Children of the province of Kasai-Occidental are advocating to the Provincial Assembly in favor of these children.

Dear parents, in the name of all the children, we ask you to put their education first.

To our dear authorities, we ask you to ensure that the rights of the child in general and the right to education in particular are respected.

To our dear children, let us reclaim our rights, because a right is only a right when it is demanded.


Cover photo : UNICEF RDC 2013 Julie Pudlowski

Photo in the article: UNICEF RDC 2012 Cornelia Walther

Translated from French by Helen Hwang Chow

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Hervé est un ancien Enfant Reporter de Kinshasa qui accompagne aujourd'hui la nouvelle génération. « Il est indispensable de partager les expériences positives et négatives pour accélérer la promotion des droits de l’enfant ».

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