Ethiopian children rights have been reviewed with a purpose to re-strengthen them for the sake of safeguarding children. The UN has insisted that children should not be discriminated in the society in spite of their social backgrounds. Their rights should begin after conception and after birth till they manage to make concrete decisions.
Process began in 1991
Ethiopia on its part has helped in ratifying children rights, a process that began in 1991. Since then, the moderation of the process has been in progress. The climax of the process happened in 2002 after Ethiopia signed the African Charter of the rights of children. Ethiopia constitution, which anchors the welfare of children, also strengthens the African Charter. The numeral laws and rights put in place have enhanced streamlining the socio-economic, political and cultural rights of Ethiopian children.
Before these rights and laws, Ethiopian children didn’t have a chance in decision making on matters affecting them. Their parents simply dictated what ought to be done while children directly implemented without questioning. This acted to the disadvantage of the children leading to gross violation of their rights.
To worsen the situation, some parents dictated their marital decisions on who to marry or get married to. Others were led into early marriages thus forcing them out of school. In addition, some parents considered their children as the workforce to till on their lands.
According to Demitu Hambissa, the inclusion of rights and welfare of children in the constitution is a major milestone. Hambissa is the minister for women and children. Additionally, Hambissa insisted that the government has formulated child policy with various directives. The ministry is also collaborating with other stakeholders to iron out Ethiopian children rights. A representative of UNICEF to Ethiopia, Gillian Mellsop, has congratulated the country terming it a step in the right direction.