The day has been celebrated annually since 1991 when it was initiated by the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union. It honors young people who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, by the apartheid security forces.
All over Africa, the day is used to raise awareness of the continued need for the improvement of the education provided to African children. The theme for this year is “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”. Humanitarian actions are mainly offered to assist those who have no power or abilities on their own to seek and acquire basic amenities for everyday living while upholding their human dignity. It is estimated that there are at least 13.5 million African children who have been displaced from their homes through conflicts, climate change, and poverty and are in need of humanitarian help. These children live as refugees, migrants or internally displaced persons, existing from day to day without the facilities and opportunities to fulfill their potentials in life. The figures become more worrisome when Orphaned and Vulnerable children are added to the total.