Assefa Bequele

 As HAQ: Centre for Child Rights enters its second decade I would like to take the liberty of congratulating it for their superb work over the last ten years. HAQ has contributed to the advancement of child rights in so many ways – at the policy level certainly but in no small measure at the individual and human level also.

It has influenced public policy — a difficult and rare feat at all times, but especially so in these days of market fundamentalism — by ensuring that children are an integral part of the budgeting process.

IHAQ has changed the lives of children either by coming to their immediate aid as it did with the boy who tried to protect his mother from his alcoholic and abusive father but was wrongfully convicted of manslaughter, or, ensured that no paedophile goes unpunished as it did by successfully waging a life sentence on a man who had raped and made pregnant a 12-year-old girl.

HAQ's work on governance and budgeting has been pioneering and it has inspired and enhanced our work here at The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF). These and many others, too many to mention, make HAQ an example of a human rights centre at its best.

I personally salute HAQ for its stellar contribution and we, at ACPF, are proud to be associated with it in our common struggle for the realisation of child rights and child well-being around the world.