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Liberia joins other countries in celebration of the Day of the African Child

By Kruah Thompson 

Liberia will be joining the global celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) on 16 June 2023, with an exciting indoor program scheduled to take place at the Monrovia City Hall.

The commemoration of the Day originates from resolution No: CM/1290 of the Heads of States Summit of the former Organization of African Unity held in Abuja, Nigeria in June 1990. 

This significant day aims to provide children with a platform to voice their concerns on issues that affect them.

This year’s DAC will be observed globally under the theme “The Rights of Children in the Digital Environment.” 

Liberia will commemorate the day with a National Theme: “Promoting Digital Literacy and Security for Every Liberian Child.”

The festivities will commence with a vibrant parade starting from central Monrovia. The event is expected to be held across all fifteen counties in Liberia, with a national program planned in Montserrado County.

Addressing the media on Monday, 5 June 2023, Joel U.K. Gray, the speaker of the Liberia Children’s Parliament, announced that the DAC celebrations in Liberia will take place from Wednesday, 7 June to 16 June 2023. 

As part of the activities, district and county elections will be conducted from 7 June to 10 June 2023.

Furthermore, he revealed that on Thursday, 15 June, a National Children Workshop focusing on children and the digital environment will be hosted. 

The workshop aims to facilitate meaningful engagement between children, policymakers, and state actors to implement laws and policies that protect children’s rights.

“This National Children Workshop also intends to create equal opportunities for all children, including children with disabilities, street children, and children in institutional care, as enshrined in the Liberian Children’s Law.”

Gray emphasized the primary objective of the DAC program, which is to empower children, amplify their voices, and promote their active participation in shaping a brighter future for Africa.

Referring to the UNICEF State of the World Children 2017 report, Gray highlighted the increasing influence of digital technology, including the internet, on children’s lives, both positively and negatively.

He emphasized that digital technology has become an integral part of daily life, presenting both benefits and risks for children.

The report also highlighted the potential of digital technology to incite violence, impacting the lives and futures of numerous children.

He emphasized that digitalization has transformed various aspects of modern life, including childhood, alongside globalization and urbanization.

Recognizing the risks associated with digital technology, Gray urged digital actors, social media bloggers, and the Liberian media to exercise caution when publishing content. 

He stressed the importance of properly screening content to prevent the abuse and violation of children’s rights.

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