The Namibia National Agenda for Children 2012-2016 is a call to action to put the constitutional mandate on the rights of children into implementable strategies. The Agenda is anchored on five pillars: health and nourishment; early childhood development and schooling; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; adequate standard of living and legal identity; and protection against neglect and abuse.
The importance of Namibia developing its first-ever National Agenda for Children was highlighted through the publication of Children and Adolescents in Namibia 2010: A Situation Analysis, and through a review of the National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2006-2010). Two critical issues were identified through these processes: that Namibia needed to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to planning and implementation towards child-centred development, and that we needed to look more broadly at the concepts of vulnerability and inequity through the lens of a child’s life cycle.
Through a broad-based consultative process which involved government, NGOs, civil society organisations, children and development partners, the national commitments for children were identified, discussed and prioritised. While these five-year commitments have been integrated into current sector policies and plans to a large extent, the National Agenda for Children brings them together concisely, which will enable all stakeholders to plan, implement and monitor their actions for children in a coordinated manner. The Agenda also serves as a major contribution to overall national development planning processes.
While the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has been assigned the task of facilitating the development of the national agenda for children, the primary responsibility for ensuring that is is implemented lies with the line ministries and their partners.