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Speaking Up for Girls' Rights on the Day of the African Child

Twenty-five years ago, advocates successfully galvanized African leaders behind the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The treaty was borne out of a need to promote a rights agenda that was relevant to Africa. The Charter revisited most ideals articulated in the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), though went a step further and boldly committed to protecting children from harmful cultural and social practices. Article 21 explicitly refers to protecting Africa's children against child marriages, betrothal and urging countries to push the minimum age of marriage to 18 years.