More Efforts Needed to Address Child Abuse

By Salome Gangire

Stakeholders say there is still more work to be done to ensure the fight against child abuse is won in the country.

The meeting by NGO Coalition on Child Rights (NGO-CCR) and Save the Children expressed the sentiments this week during a media engagement in Mzimba District.

Save the Children- Malawi Advocacy and Communications Specialist, Laurent Kumchenga, said though a lot of progress has been made towards ensuring children’s rights are being respected, there is still a lot that needs to be done.

“There are still a lot of rights that need to be exercised to ensure that children get the future they deserve.

“Issues of child marriages and access to education have attained minimal improvement, a situation that is very worrisome,” he said.

Kumchenga stated that children in the country are still facing challenges regarding access of justice, especially those that have been raped or married off at a tender age, particularly in rural places.

He said it is for this reason that Save the Children- Malawi is implementing a five-year project dubbed Securing Children’s Rights through Education and Protection (SCREP) in four districts of Mzimba, Neno, Mwanza and Lilongwe.

Chairperson for NGO CCR, Desmond Mhango, said much as the country is making some efforts, it is not doing enough as cases of child marriages, child trafficking and labour and abuse and violence against children are on the increase.

He said government is not investing enough to provide interventions to address these problems.

“If we invest in children, we invest in the future and when we spend on children we are investing in the future,” he said.

Mhango, therefore, called for coordination from all the non-state actors and government agencies to work hard in the promotion of children’s rights.

According to Kumchenga, 47 per cent of girls in Malawi get married before the age of 18 and also 37 per cent of children are stunted, a situation he said is worrisome.-MANA