The ACERWC  has released a General Comment on article 1 of the Charter on “State Party Obligations and systems strengthening for child protection”.

The ACERWC under article 42 (c) has the mandate to interpret the provisions of the African Children’s Charter, and accordingly has developed General Comment no 5 on “State Party Obligations under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Article 1) and systems strengthening for child protection”. The Committee, noting the challenges that State parties experience in understanding the nature and scope of the obligations they have undertaken to implement the African Children’s Charter, developed this General Comment to expound the meaning and elements of article 1 of the African Children’s Charter and to provide a more detailed guidance on the general measures required to improve implementation of the Charter., Furthermore, the General Comment explains what system strengthening in child protection refers to and how it can better enhance the implementation of States’ Obligation under the Charter.  It contains the essence of the implementation obligation of State Parties, taking account of regional specificities, good practice, and matters of particular concern to the Committee as regards the fulfilment of children’s rights in Africa. It guides State Parties and other actors by explaining the kinds of measures that should be undertaken to discharge the obligations enshrined in the Charter. Most importantly it describes what ‘legislative and other measures’ entail under article 1 of the Charter which requires State Parties to take such measures. In doing so, the General Comment aims to set a standard on the understanding of article 1 and to improve the implementation of the rights of the child enshrined in the African Children’s Charter.

The General Comment also intends to guide national human rights institutions, non-state actors, businesses, and civil society in their work, as well as to assist non-state actors to hold their governments to account for the fulfillment of children’s rights as provided in the African Children’s Charter.

State Parties and non-state actors are encouraged to refer to the General Comment in their undertakings and to make the contents of this General Comment widely known.

The full text of the General Comment is available here.

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