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International Day of the African Child

16 Jun 2015

16 June every year: Commemorating children killed protesting in Soweto in 1976.

Child Rep Addresses UN Gen Assembly Mtg on Children by UN Photo - click to view on flickr.comOn 16 June 1976 In Soweto, South Africa, thousands of black schoolchildren took to the streets to protest about the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of them were shot down; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand injured.

To honour their courage and in memory of those killed, in 1991 the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) established the Day of the African Child. The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today.

You can find out more more about the Soweto protests, and view a video clip of news coverage on the BBC 'on this day' website. The Google Cultural Institute also has background information and photos.

You could use this Day to find out more about the lives of children living in Africa today. For example, check out the Our Africa website developed by SOS Children.

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