ZIMBABWE YOUTH CHARTER (21-06-07)


Prepared by: Zimbabwe Youth Movement & Free-Zim Youth Movement

GUIDED by the Constitution of Zimbabwe,

DIRECTED by the vision, hopes and aspirations of the People of Zimbabwe,

ENCOURAGED by the basis of the resolution


of the Heads of State and government during the 1999 Algiers Summit for the development of the Pan-African Charter,


UPHOLDING the values and ideals of the Zimbabwean tradition and history as the foundation of a truly Zimbabwean identity,


FULLY AWARE of the diversity of Zimbabwean cultures and their bearing to our unity as a people,


CONVINCED that because of perpetuity, the youths of Zimbabwe are the only sustainable resource in the fight for national development,

REAFFIRMING the need to take appropriate measures to promote and protect the rights and welfare of children as outlined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989) and through the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999),


NOTING with concern the situation of Zimbabwean youths, many of whom are marginalized from mainstream society through inequalities in income, wealth and power, unemployment and underemployment, infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, living in situations of poverty and hunger, experiencing illiteracy and poor quality educational systems, restricted access to health services and to information, exposure to violence including gender and political violence and experiencing various forms of discrimination.


RECALLING the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and beyond and the ten priority areas identified for youth (education,
employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, drug abuse, juvenile
delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and youth participating in decision-making), and the five additional areas (HIV/AIDS, ICT, Inter-generational dialogue,..) adopted at the 2005 UN General assembly,


VALUING the role played by youths in the struggle for independence


REITERATING that youths are the vanguard of independence and democracy in Zimbabwe,
SALUTING the continual efforts by the youths in protecting the integrity of Zimbabwe as a democracy and as a sovereign state,


ENCOURAGED by the endeavours by African states to come up with a comprehensive African Youth Charter and noting the enshrinements in the African Youth Charter

ACKNOWLEDGING the increasing calls and the enthusiasm of youth to actively participate at local, national, regional and international levels to determine their own development and the advancement of society at large,


ACKNOWLEDGING ALSO the call in Bamako (2005) by the youth organisations
across Africa to empower youth by building their capacity, leadership, responsibilities and provide access to information such that they can take up their rightful place as active agents in decision-making and governance,


CONSIDERING that the promotion and protection of the rights of youth also implies the performance of duties by youth as by all other actors in society,


PART 1: RIGHTS AND DUTIES
Article 1: Obligation of The Government of Zimbabwe
1.The Government of Zimbabwe shall recognize the rights, freedoms and duties enshrined in this Charter.
2. The Government of Zimbabwe shall undertake the necessary steps, in accordance with Constitution to adopt such legislative or other measures that may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the Charter.


Article 2: Non-discrimination
1. Every young person shall be entitled to the enjoyments of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in this Charter irrespective of their race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, fortune, birth or other status.
2.The Government of Zimbabwe shall take appropriate measures to ensure that youth are protected against all forms of discrimination on the basis of status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs.
3. The Government of Zimbabwe recognize the rights of Young people from ethnic, religious and linguistic marginalized groups to enjoy their own culture, freely practice their own religion or to use their own language in community with other members of their group.
Basis and background
It is enshrined in our history that we fought for majority rule. We fought against The White Settler Factor-There was a time when European liberalism was regarded as only hope for this country, but history have shown that European liberals was only sugar-coated white supremacy. European liberals minority did not subscribe to the doctrine of One man One vote. They then believed that minority must rule the African, but they must do so justly!. They might as well say the African must be oppressed justly! The settlers were determined, as we have already stated ,to hold on to political power indefinitely. They did not have the solution to then the problem since they champion the cause of minority rule.


Article 3: Freedom of Movement
Every young person has the right to leave the country and to return to safely into country.
Basis and background
African nationalist leaders were not allowed by the white minority laws to enter any of the Reserves. Many of the leaders who entered the Reserves were then fined, tortured or sentenced to imprisonment. They where not to remain in the Reserves and they were not to remain in European areas as this was in contravention of the Land Apportionment Act.


Article 4: Freedom of Expression
1. Every young person shall be guaranteed the right to express his or her ideas and opinions freely in all matters and to disseminate his or her ideas and opinions subject to the restrictions as are prescribed by laws.
2.Every young person shall have the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas of all kinds, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art or through any media of the young person’s choice subject to the restrictions as are prescribed by laws.
Basis and background
The Rhodesian government banned the circulation of the Daily News in jail and in detention so that the African prisoners and detainees would be completely cut off from the outside world. They enacted repressive laws like Law and Order Maintenance Act and the Broadcasting Act so restrict the voice of the people. This was virtually a ban on all political gathering sin then Salisbury, Bulawayo and other towns, the whole idea was to weaken and destroy the African nationalist movement.


Article 5: Freedom of Association
1. Every young person shall have the right to free association and freedom of peaceful assembly in conformity with the law.
2.Young people shall not be compelled to belong to an association.
Basis and background
There were 4,000,000 Africans in Southern Rhodesia . 42% of those people lived in the Reserves and no political meetings were to be held in these Reserves. This was to say 1,680,000(almost 2,000,000) Africans were denied the simple right of political assembly and therefore political expression in areas which were legally theirs. It should be remembered that those Africans were refused political gatherings in their own areas purely to entrench minority rule.

Article 6: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
Every young person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 7: Protection of Private Life
No young person shall be subject to the arbitrary or unlawful interference with his/her privacy, residence or correspondence, or to attacks upon his/her honour or reputation.


Article 8: Protection of the Family
1.The family, as the most basic social institution, shall enjoy the full protection and support of The Government of Zimbabwe for its establishment and development.
2.Young men and women of full age who enter into marriage shall do so based on their free consent and shall enjoy equal rights and responsibilities.


Article 9: Property
1.Every young person shall have the right to own and to inherit property.
2. Young men and young women shall enjoy equal rights to own property.
3. The Government of Zimbabwe shall ensure that youths are not arbitrarily deprived of their property including inherited property.


Article 10: Development
1.Every young person shall have the right to social, economic, political and cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.
2.The Government of Zimbabwe shall ensure that the economic development of the country is equally reflected by the growth of the youths, in this regard the government shall undertake to assist in the empowerment of youths through provisions of grants, loans and other facilities aimed at improving the lives of the youths.
3.The Government of Zimbabwe shall provide access to information and education and training for young people to learn their rights and responsibilities, to be schooled in democratic processes, citizenship, decision-making, governance and leadership such that they develop the technical skills and confidence to participate in these processes
4.The Government of Zimbabwe shall not adopt extremist economic policies that compromise the development of youths
5.Nationalisation of natural resources shall have a fair share for the youth.

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