Children are growing up in an era of unprecedented global interconnection and innovation. Many millions enjoy a quality of life never imagined by previous generations. Out of the spotlight, many others have been left behind by the rapid development. Whether they have benefited from or missed out on recent global transformations, all children are grappling with economic shocks and new threats to health, environment, security and political stability that have arisen as the world has changed. Children held back by poverty, sickness, terrorism, violence and abuse, lack of an education, water and sanitation, lack of energy, malnutrition, inequality, gender equality, armed conflict or natural disasters, are denied a fair chance in life. Deprivation and unequal opportunity prevent them from achieving their goals and taking full part in the life of their communities and the world.
According to Kidsrights index 2017 (the annual global index which ranks how countries members of UN, adhere to and are equipped to improve children’s rights, there are a lot to do for African countries as well as other countries to improve Children rights in the domain of Life, Heath, Education, Protection and Environment. Concerning especially Cameroon, the country occupies the 134 rang/165 countries with a score of 0,507/1 articulated such : Right to Life (0,403/1), right to Health (0,598/1), right to Education (0,535/1), right to Protection (0,362/1) and right to enabling Environment for Child Rights (0,714/1).
In many parts of Africa, Children are victims of drought; land degradation, desertification and climate change negatively impacting their future. The security crisis Cameroon and many African countries encounter a negative impact on children rights. Conflicts force thousands of people live their homes. Countless numbers of children have been abducted, abused and forcibly recruited to accomplish inhuman acts. Girls have been targeted for particularly horrific abuse, including sexual enslavement. Villages and towns are looted and destroyed. Schools have been attacked. Conflicts are exacting a heavy toll on children, affecting not just their well-being and their safety but also their access to basic health, education and social services. Children are experiencing immense suffering. Many have seen parents, siblings, relatives or neighbors killed, tortured or abducted by terrorist groups or in rebellions. Many have had to run for their lives and walk for days to reach safety. Alarming rates of malnutrition have been observed in the areas worst affected by crisis. In some refugee and displaced camps in many countries in Africa, screenings among newly arrived children reveal global acute malnutrition rates of more than18 %, which is above the emergency threshold of 15%.
Conflicts weigh heavily on children, affecting not only their well-being and security but also their access to health, education and basic social services. Countless children, women and men have been abducted, abused and forcibly recruited, and women and girls have been the targets of particularly horrendous abuse, including sexual slavery.
Villages and schools were looted and destroyed. Children are exposed to a number of public health problems due to early marriage as a broader phenomenon with painful consequences for girls. Those who marry as children have fewer years of schooling than their peers who marry as adults, raising concerns about long-term social and economic prospects. Most of the health issues surrounding child marriage are related to the reproductive and maternal health of women. Young married women also have higher rates of HIV infection than their unmarried sexually active counterparts.
When talking about sustainable development Goals, children are sometimes forgotten while all goals are relevant to children’s lives. If Cameroon’s and African’s Governments have ratified several United Nations conventions and resolutions on children, and introduced them in their legislations, there still many obstacles in implementation of these dispositions due to insufficient political will, ignorance of children and communities of Children rights. Upholding these rights requires knowledge of the geographic distribution of matters affecting children and the effectiveness of policies that aim to tackle these violations.
PROGRAM IDEAS AND VALUES
his program is based on two major ideas:
- – Children in affected or threatened areas are at the center of concerns for peacebuilding, to combat desertification/land degradation, and mitigate the effects of drought and climate change.
- – Conflicts, desertification/land degradation, drought and Climate Change, are problems of global dimension and joint action of the international community is needed to build peace, combat desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought and climate change.
To give a concrete meaning to these ideas, three principles are the core of this program:
- 1- First, African States have the primary role in promoting good governance, peacebuilding, children rights, combating desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought and climate change.
- 2- Second, it is essential to ensure the participation of NGOs, CSO, women, Scientifics community, youth and children, Indigenous Peoples and their communities, business and industry, workers and trade unions in the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of national and local programs for children rights, combating desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought and climate change.
- 3- Third, developed States must actively support, individually or jointly, the efforts of African developing and least developing countries, to promote children rights, good governance, combat desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought and climate change.
Living conditions are improved in Cameroon and in Africa thanks to the recognition of children rights by all sectors of national, regional and international life, the implementation of the United Nations convention for children rights by Governments and the active participation of children in governance, peacebuilding and environment protection consistent with 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTED IMPACT
The following “strategic objectives” will guide the actions of ANYL4PSD in the period 2018–2030. Meeting these long-term objectives will contribute to achieving the above-mentioned vision.
Strategic Objective 1: To improve people understanding (especially vulnerable/marginalize children) on Children rights, sustainable development goals and their challenges
Expected impact 1.1:Ignorance and misunderstanding of people (especially vulnerable/marginalize children) about children rights, global Goals and their challenges are reduced
Expected Impact 1.2: Measures to strengthen the respect of children rights and to achieve sustainable development goals are shared and debated
Strategic objective 2: To increase countries engagement towards Children rights and sustainable Development Goals
Expected Impact 2.1: Governments, Citizen and companies’ engagement and synergy towards children rights and sustainable Development Goals are increased
Expected Impact 2.2:National voluntarily targets concerning children rights and sustainable development goals are set by countries, related measures are identified and implemented, necessary monitoring system is established
Expected Impact 2.3: Governments, Citizen especially women, children, youth and other minority groups monitor individually and collectively countries progress in achieving sustainable Development Goals
Strategic objective 3: To improve policies and the living conditions of children and their family especially vulnerable/minority children
Expected impact 3.1: Countries policies are improved relatively to children rights
Expected impact 3.2:The livelihoods of children parents (especially affected/vulnerable/minority) are improved and diversified
Expected impact 3.3: Children (especially affected/vulnerable/minority children) are empowered and participate in decision-making processes in achieving sustainable Development Goals and combatting DLDD
Expected impact 3.4: Migration of children and their family forced by disasters, desertification and land degradation is substantially reduced.
Strategic objective 4: To mitigate, adapt to, and manage the effects of drought and climate change in order to enhance resilience of vulnerable children and their family
Expected impact 4.1:Ecosystems’ vulnerability to drought and climate change is reduced, including through sustainable land and water management practices.
Expected impact 4.2:Communities’ resilience to drought and climate change is increased.
Strategic objective 5: To generate global environmental and health and security benefits through effective implementation of United Nations Convention (relating to peace, environment and children rights) ratified for the sake of children
Expected impact 5.1 Sustainable land management and the combat against DLDD contribute to the conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity and addressing climate change.
Expected impact 5.2 Children and stakeholder’s mobilization against violent extremism and radicalization contribute to the reduction of 80% of children and young soldiers and their successful social reintegration.
Expected impact 5.3 Synergies with other multilateral environmental and health agreements and processes are enhanced.
Strategic objective 6: To mobilize substantial and additional financial and non-financial resources to support the implementation of united conventions by building effective partnerships at global and national level for the sake of children
Expected impact 6.1 Adequate and timely public and private financial resources are further mobilized towards sustainable Development Goals and made available to affected country/areas, including through domestic resource mobilization.
Expected impact 6.2 International support is provided for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building and “on-the-ground interventions” in affected country to support children rights, the implementation of the UNCCD Convention and others united Nations conventions, including through North–South, South– South and triangular cooperation.
- 1- The Program will be implemented through actions at national, sub-regional and continental levels with the support of partners in accordance with national priorities and in a spirit of international solidarity and partnership including public–private partnerships, and innovative agreements. This program intends to be implemented relatively to the following areas: Preventing and countering violent Extremism; Disarmament, Demobilization and reintegration;Policy and Advocacy, raising awareness, Capacity Building, Cartoon (animation, comic, and sensitization); Children and Youth Action, and Knowledge.
- 2- The UN Security Council resolutions 2250 and 1325, the United Nations conventions on Children Rights, the UNCCD, the Sendaï framework DRR and the New Urban Agenda will be the main legal frames of the program. A particular accent is put on children migration and trafficking.
- 3- Concerning agenda 2030 agenda which is intended to be universal and transformative, and change of our trajectory towards sustainability, the program will make a priority in SDGs 1,2,3,5,9,14, 15 and 16 by considering that:
- – The key to tackling multidimensional poverty and achieving SDG 1 lies in the shift from the neoliberal economic paradigm that pursues profit and growth over people and planet. Multidimensional poverty, understood as a scourge on our planet, requires an end to crippling austerity policies globally, the active implementation of a universal basic income and caps on maximum income.
- – SDG 2 must be understood in the context of food sovereignty, to liberate marginalized communities from their state of external dependence for their own sustenance. Moreover, the aggressive corporatization of genetic resources and biodiversity must be reversed in line with a sovereignty-focused understanding of SDG 2;
- – The changing context of the national and global health landscape needs to be well incorporated in policies focused on SDG 3, in order to adequately address emerging issues like antimicrobial resistance, infectious pandemics, and the shifting burden to non-communicable diseases that threaten progress on health gains. Additionally, the trend of increasing industry influence and harsher structural barriers through a more stringent intellectual properties rights regime needs to be reversed;
- – Certain countries still do not recognize women as constitutionally equal to men. The empowerment of girls and women, and the achievement of SDG 5 require holistic legislative and societal changes, catalyzed by targeted state efforts and the inclusion of men and boys in the effort. These include overcoming social, economic, cultural and political barriers that seek to control the bodily autonomy of women, their economic mobility and social participation, while imposing a gender binary view on the society;
- – Infrastructure development should take a regional approach and take into account the needs of different types of territories- urban and non-urban, after community driven assessments of social, economic and ecological impact;
To adequately address the complex sustainability challenges of oceans- A planetary boundary, we need an ethic of evidence based stewardship and work towards a global treaty on oceans and plastics, while addressing issues of extraterritorial overfishing threatening biodiversity and the sustenance of populations dependent on oceans
- – The success of 2030 Agenda requires greater integration and coherence of the various universally adopted sustainable development frameworks. Some of these include the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the New Urban Agenda, the 10 Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, and the Paris Agreement. These must be understood as part of a larger international effort towards the universally applicable sustainable;
- – National and international policies should seek to align macroeconomic frameworks with the three dimensions of sustainable development. Concrete initiatives like UNEP’s Ecological Risk Integration into Sovereign Credit (E-RISC), and Ecological Tax Reform (ETR) should be expanded and applied universally, in addition to addressing stranded assets and the transition from fractional to full reserve banking, as a step towards operationalizing a framework that views the economy as a subset of the environment and society;
- – We need to apply a science policy interface that seeks the appropriate use of sensible data, while applying context specific technology and purpose driven innovation in synchrony with indigenous knowledge;
- – United Nations should convene a process to classify ecocide as a crime against humanity;
- – In order to achieve rights based participation modalities that ensure protected spaces for critical segments of society, Children and Young People should be formally engaged in all stages and levels of sustainable development policy.