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On 16 June 1976 In Soweto, South Africa, thousands of black school children 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.

The theme for this year is: Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa”.

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