By: Selma Taapopi
Namibian youth has advised the government to translate the rights of the children in more simplified terms and in local languages as the majority of children subjected to violence and abuse are in rural areas. This advised was shared by the youth who attended the ``My rights are my superpowers" awareness campaign on children's rights organised by the Office of the Ombudsman.
"I was suggesting that we introduce a module in pre-primary school to tertiary education, specifically about the rights in the Constitution that will teach the foundation of rights at a young age, the same way children are taught how to cross the road while they’re young and they grow up with that in their subconscious. It is the same that can happen when we instill these values and lessons of (children) rights at a young age," said Neville Ndodi, the speaker of the Children's Parliament.
University of Namibia (Unam) law student, Rivaldo Kavanga stated the government should consider translating children's rights into local languages as part of its efforts to raise public awareness.
"Oftentimes, we know that the rights of children are contained in the Child Care and Protection Act which is quite difficult to read. I won’t even lie, opening the CCP for the first time, you’ll be discouraged because of the number of pages and the terminology that is used. So the government should translate the different rights that children are supposed to have in a more simple language," noted Kavanga.
In addition, Unam's political science student , Tangeni Matheus said the children are protected but there is so much that the government, the office of the ombudsman and other stakeholders can do to improve the rights of the children.
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Executive Director Audrin Mathe, stated that Namibia has promised the international community that it will respect, protect, and promote the rights of children through its voluntary commitment to uphold the rights set out in the convention on the Rights of the Child.
"Our nation has promised to ensure the maximum survival and development of every child. This guiding principle is set out in article 6 of the convention. The right to survival and development permeates the entire convention. It is also a fundamental outcome of successful human rights protections" Mathe said.
In an effort to raise awareness on children's rights, the office of the ombudsman will put out short films, animations, brochures and posters in local media depicting various children's rights.