International Advocacy

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JCT continues to be relied on by other child rights organizations in international advocacy initiatives.

JCT was one of the four organizations that prepared and submitted a Child Rights Organizations Submission for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in March 2011. It also participated in the writing of the Government of Zimbabwe’s report for the same process. After the review, the organization has continued to engage with the process. In 2014, JCT worked with the Government in the preparation of the UPR Midterm Report that was submitted and deliberated at the Human Rights Summit in September 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization continued to highlight issues affecting children in Zimbabwe such as birth registration, child abuse and corporal punishment.

Universal Periodic Review

JCT was one of the four organizations that prepared and submitted a Child Rights Organizations Submission for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in March 2011. It also participated in the writing of the Government of Zimbabwe’s report for the same process. After the review, the organization has continued to engage with the process. In 2014, JCT worked with the Government in the preparation of the UPR Midterm Report that was submitted and deliberated at the Human Rights Summit in September 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization continued to highlight issues affecting children in Zimbabwe such as birth registration, child abuse and corporal punishment.

Leading towards this Mid Term Review, JCT worked with UPR Info, an independent NGO based in Geneva, which aims to strengthen the UPR mechanism.
(For more details http://www.upr-info.org or Kira Youdina This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The organization provided an update on the implementation of the recommendations that were accepted by Zimbabwe. A significant improvement was the advent of the Constitution which however exposed gaps in legislation and implementation. The organization is continuing to work with both the Government and the UPR Info in monitoring progress on the situation of children’s rights as we lead towards Zimbabwe’s next report to the Human Rights Council.

Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communication Procedure

JCT is a member of the Coalition Ratify OP3-CRC. (http://ratifyop3crc.org for details)It was among the three organizations, including Save the Children and Plan International to initiate discussions in Zimbabwe on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communication Procedure. These three organizations organized a Training Workshop to sensitise other child rights organizations in 2014 on the Protocol. At that workshop, government representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs were present therefore presenting an opportunity to lobby them to initiate discussion on the signing and ratification of the Protocol.

JCT became one of the few organizations from Zimbabwe to participate at the Regional Conference on the Optional Protocol held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2014 which was organized by Save the Children, Plan International and KNH. Delegates from Zimbabwe developed a strategy for advocating for the ratification of the Protocol by the Government by 2016 which includes these key aspects:

  • Awareness raising among CSOs and the government. This would involve trainings.
  • Engaging the Government and key actors such as MPs, UN agencies and international organizations.
  • Main arguments for ratification:
    1. To demonstrate regional and international commitment and leadership in children’s rights.
    2. To strengthen Zimbabwe’s national laws (substantive and procedural rights) especially the implementation of the Constitution.
  • Opportunities to used were:
    1. Children’s International Days
    2. Reporting Mechanisms to Treaty Bodies such as UPR in 2016.

Following up on this strategy, the organization has been working with other stakeholders engaging the Government. For instance, in preparation of the presentation of the Government’s Report to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the issue of ratification of the Protocol was discussed with government delegates who included the National Coordinator for the National Programme of Action for Children whose office coordinate implementation and reporting on the CRC.

CSOs Complementary Report on the ACRWC

Another testimony of the organisation’s competency is that its Programme Director was the co-author of the CSOs Complementary Report on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which was finalized and presented to the African Committee in 2014. That Report highlighted, among other issues, the need to harmonize Zimbabwe’s laws with the Constitution and channel resources towards implementation of legal and policy framework as well as establish effective coordinating mechanisms. Following the presentation of the Report, the Committee requested further information from the Government. The Government, in turn, is consulting the organization, among others, in its preparation for the presentation of its Report which will be in April 2015. The organization will continue to monitor progress in the realization of children’s rights using the recommendations that the Committee will make in 2015.

 

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