The advocacy and communication for child rights programme seeks to strengthen advocacy and communication strategies that empower communities, including children and women with comprehensive knowledge, skills, motivation and authority to reduce risk and mitigate the impact of HIV infection. This is in line with the UNDAF outcome relating to strengthening and intensifying the multi-sectoral national response to HIV and AIDS and enhancing capacity of key national and local level institutions for improved governance.
Engage Parliamentarians and ensure they have adequate information on children's issues:
- Key objectives of the Communication for Child Rights project include the creation of an improved environment where children and women enjoy their rights; where domestic law and policies will be adopted by Government to fulfill commitments made under international conventions, specifically the Child Rights Convention; and where children will be engaged in meaningful dialogue on issues affecting them at the community and national levels.
- The new constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland makes provisions for laws that address the rights of the child and for laws aimed at guaranteeing special protection for children. It also provides that within three years of the adoption of the constitution, every Swazi child shall have a right to free education in public school, at least up to the end of primary school.
- With the support of UNICEF and partners, children are beginning to break the silence. Children are demonstrating their creativity through drama on various themes, including child abuse, at community and national theatre festivals. To ensure that their voices influence decision making, the children are involved in every aspect of the programme, from project formulation through execution.
Nurture and strengthen partnerships with the media and faith based organisations and monitor and provide support to their response to violence against children:
- UNICEF and partners continue to support the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and civil society to improve the legal and institutional framework to protect children’s rights, by facilitating the drafting of a Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill as well as the issue paper for a Children’s Bill.
Continue to support the PRSAP strategy for strengthening the campaign for behavioral change to reduce the spread of HIV infection:
- Considerable effort is being made through school debates, radio programmes, and social clubs to empower children with a better understanding of HIV risk factors so that they are able to act responsibly to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS.