Taking note that the persistence of situations of war, famine and underdevelopment bring about particularly negative consequences for the African child population, especially their physical, intellectual and psychological development;
Considering that one of the consequences of this situation is manifested all over the continent, with thousands of displaced, refugee, handicapped, orphaned children, living in conditions of malnutrition, sickness, even misery, are obliged to do illegal labour, prostitution and delinquency, without any prospects;
Convinced that the promotion and defence of the rights of the child is the only way of safeguarding the future of the African continent;
Considering that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child constitutes a prime legal framework towards this end, and that, consequently, its entry into force is urgent;
Instantly calls on all States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights that are yet to do so to ratify the said Charter, to allow its entry into force without further delay.
Bujumbura, 5 May 1999.