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HomeLocal NewsZambia records 495 child defilement cases-Police

Zambia records 495 child defilement cases-Police

SIMON MUNTEMBA writes

@SunZambian

ZAMBIA recorded 495 child defilement cases in the first quarter of 2019 which is a wakeup call to government to expedite the enactment of the child code bill that will protect children, says Save the Children country director Duncan Harvey.

Mr Harvey said there was also need for parents, guardians and relevant institutions to work together in ensuring that the environment in and around the home was safe for the children.

In an interview, Mr Harvey has condemned the high levels of sexual violence against children in Zambia.

He was reacting to the recently released first quarter gender-based violence statistics by the Zambia Police, in which the nation recorded 495 child defilement cases.

Mr Harvey said it was his organization’s considered view that Zambia’s poor ranking in the report was a compelling reason for the prompt presentation and enactment of the Children’s Code Bill without further delays.

He said the report showed that the cases of child defilement were occurring at an average rate of six cases per day, meaning a child was defiled every four hours.

Mr Harvey implored parents and relevant institutions to prioritise the rights of children, especially their right to be protected from all forms of harm.

“These statistics show us that in spite of efforts by various actors to curb this form of violence, much more needs to be done to protect children. We note that these statistics refer only to those cases that have been reported to the police, so there may be many more Zambian children who have experienced violence but have not reported,

“We call upon all institutions, households and individuals to uphold the highest standards of behaviour towards children, both in their private and professional lives,” Mr Harvey said.

He said that children must be given the confidence to report any form of abuse they experienced from parents, caregivers, police, their teachers or even their neighbours.

He also urged the police to investigate and act on all child sexual abuse with the urgency it deserved, adding that the judiciary must also expedite all sexual gender-based violence cases involving children.

He called on the media to report all forms of violence children were exposed to in Zambia using child friendly reporting principles regardless of the form the violence took, be it emotional, physical, and sexual, exploitation and child labour or neglect.

 “Save the Children further calls upon our partners in the media to be the strong voice children need at a time when they are experiencing pain, danger and injustice as a result of this despicable form of violence,” he said.

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