Study: African Children Face Unacceptably High Levels Of Violence

In a study run by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), it has been found that African children across the continent suffer unacceptably high levels of emotional, physical and sexual violence at home, in school and in the street.

The ACPF is based in Ethiopia and specializes in working for children’s rights and announced the reports of the study on Wednesday. Of the children interviewed, 92 percent in Togo, 86 percent in Sierra Leone, 73 percent in Egypt, 71 percent in Ghana and 60 percent in Kenya told researchers they had experienced violence from both their classmates and teachers.

The report further showed 60 percent of children living in Morocco, Uganda and Zambia and almost 50 percent in Mali and Ethiopia had been physically punished by their family members. 16 percent of the children interviewed from Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Uganda and Zambia had visible scars on their bodies due to this physical punishment.

In a press statement, ACPF’s executive director, Theophane Nikyema put the onus on improving the situation for African children on to the people themselves.

“The burden of creating a continent where children live and grow up in safety principally lies on the shoulders of Africans themselves.”

According to ACPF, efforts are being made in some of the countries to protect African children. However, despite the laws and policies introduced against abuse, exploitation, physical punishment, sexual violence and statutory rape, the violence continues as these laws are not being enforced.

The report was launched at the United Nations and stated that some of this violence is due to traditional attitudes in African society which condone and accept violence against children. Children with disabilities apparently suffer an even greater risk of abuse and violence.

What is worse, as the children grow older, the risk outside of the home increases, especially for girls. According to the report, 46 percent of girls interviewed in Kenya and 66 percent of schoolgirls in Sierra Leone had experienced sexual violence within their communities.

According to IOL, Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children, stated that freedom from violence for African children is “indispensable for the sustainable social and economic development of African nations.”

In other Africa-related news reported on the Inquisitr, the bodies of four newborn babies were found in two freezers in a home in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]