Ndola, June 19, 2019, ZANIS---The Panos Institute of Southern Africa has called on all African political leaders, policy makers, civil society organizations, private sector and traditional leaders to reaffirm and commit to respect children’s rights.

In a statement released to ZANIS in Ndola today, Panos Institute of Southern Africa Executive Director Lilian Kiefer said most children in Africa are faced with various challenges in accessing basic humanitarian amenities such as health, shelter, food and education.

Ms Kiefer said Panos was concerned that each day, many children go to bed on an empty stomach while some are out of school and subjected to all kinds of abuse.

She added that children living in abusive environments tend to lose their dignity and grow up suppressed, noting that this limits their contribution to the development of their countries.

She said it was disheartening to see children walk long distances to schools and health facilities especially in rural and peri- urban areas.

Ms Kiefer added that some of the schools, clinics and hospitals are ill-resourced therefore fail to provide basic essentials for the children.

She has since urged governments and other stakeholders to reflect deeply on this state of affairs and put in place measures to urgently change the situation.

Ms Kiefer said this in commemorating the day of the African Child which is celebrated annually on June 16, in memory of the sacrifice made by South African students in Soweto, who protested against poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages in 1976.

This day serves to commemorate the bravery and action of children to defend their rights.

This year, it was being commemorated under the theme ‘Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First’.