The African continent remains the most conflict-prone region in the world. The main cause of conflicts and crises in the continent is the blatant violation of human rights. The African Union (AU) has since its inception committed itself to promote peace, security and stability of the continent, to promote democracy and good governance, due process, the rule of law and human rights, as well to engage in effective intervention under grave circumstances.
The Day of the African Child (DAC) this year will be celebrated while many African countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Northern Cameroon, Burundi, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso are mired various types of conflicts. Wars and conflicts put children in situations where children‘s rights are violated, including the right to life, the right to live in a family environment, the right to health, the right to education and the right to survival,nutrition,water and development. Armed groups indoctrinate and manipulate children in order to coerce or force them to participate in hostilities, including acts of extreme violence. Sexual violence on both female and male children, which includes rape and other forms of sexual violence against children have been listed as a grave violation of children during armed conflict. The abduction of children during armed conflict is rampant. As a result of all these impacts many people including a majority of women and children are forced to migrate while trying to escape from the violence and thus find refuge elsewhere which is usually very far away from home.
To date, millions of children are deprived of their rights to life and are victims of all kinds of violence (sexual abuse, physical abuse, forced recruitment into armed groups, suicide bombers ...). It is justifiably that the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children (ACERWC) placed the celebration of the DAC 2016 under the banner of the protection of children in conflict. The theme: '' Conflicts and crises in Africa: Protecting the rights of all children, '' is particularly timely to show the impact of these different crises on children's lives.
Cameroon has received since the end of 2013 many tens of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria. Children and women who constitute the most vulnerable populations and most affected during crises are very often brought to the refugee camps in pitiful conditions. Between January 2014 and February 2015, for example, Cameroon has recorded 21 suicide attacks involving children.
The celebration of this year’s DAC concerns Cameroon in the first place, hence the need for a reinforced and strong action to strengthen the advocacy in favour of child victims of such crises. This article intends to present the overall situation of children in Africa amidst these crises, and also tries to decline the key strategies to be implemented to reinforce advocacy with government authorities and other key stakeholders involved in the fight and protection of the rights of child victims in conflicts.
In celebrating the Day of the African Child this year, we must take into consideration the way forward in Creating and maintaining a world fit for children.