Save the Children Supported the Establishment of The National Children’s Parliament in Ethiopia
The official launch of the national child parliament took place on the 27th of March 2022 in the presence of over 200 children and 50 government officials, including members of the House of Peoples Representatives, Dr. Ergogie Tesfaye, the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, and representatives of the Human Rights Commission, and development partners.
The establishment of a children’s parliament at the Federal level is an outcome of the concerted efforts of different agencies and especially of girls and boys who have been demanding to have such a platform at the highest tier. Save the Children Ethiopia CO has solid grounds to celebrate and to be proud of this achievement in child participation. Since the first child parliament was established by children in Konso twenty years ago with the support of Save the Children Finland, our organization has been advocating and supporting the establishment and recognition of higher-level child-led structure at district, zonal, regional, and Federal levels. To advance this, we worked together with children, CSO partners, the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, the Institution of Ombudsmen, the Human Rights Commission, and regional government structures.
The establishment of the children’s parliament at the Federal level should be applauded as a historic move that would give huge space for children in Ethiopia and heralds hope because this is a platform that enables children to exercise democratic processes.
We have witnessed that children organized under different child-led structures have been engaged in mobilizing girls and boys to advance their rights and support local and higher-level efforts to make their communities more fit for children.
Children have been promoting their rights, monitoring the delivery of social services, engaging with service providers/duty bearers to address service gaps, developing advocacy actions, and influencing duty bearers to progressively address child rights issues.
Finally, our advocacy work has resulted in the establishment of a national children’s parliament.
Save the Children believes that the establishment of the Federal Child Parliament will lift children’s participation to the highest level. This will create better opportunities both for the children of Ethiopia and the Federal government. For children, it creates the platform to promote their issues at such a higher level where big decisions are made affecting the rights of children. The establishment of the Federal Child Parliament enables Organs of the Federal Government to take responsive decisions and actions based on the aspirations and priorities of children in Ethiopia in a more sustainable, relevant, and impactful way.
Save the Children shall continue working with our strategic partner-Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, CSOs, and other stakeholders in supporting children’s parliaments and other child-led initiatives with the view of creating a strong Children’s Agency where children are able to express their views and organize themselves around issues that concern them.