Save children from sexual abuse – NGO

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SIMON MUNTEMBA writes                    

THE recently released 2019 first quarter gender-based violence statistics which show that Zambia recorded 495 child defilement cases is a wakeup call to the government to speed up the enactment of the Children’s Code Bill, Save the Children has said.

The non-governmental organisation said the law will protect children from sexualk assaults.

Country director of Duncan Harvey said in an intervew there was a need for parents, guardians and relevant institutions to work together in ensuring that the environment in and around the home was safe for children.

Mr Harvey condemned the high levels of sexual violence against children in Zambia.

He was reacting to the first quarter gender-based violence statistics recently released by the Zambia Police Service.

“Zambia’s poor ranking in the mentioned report is a compelling reason for the prompt presentation and enactment of the Children’s Code Bill without delay,” Mr Harvey said.

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

Mr Harvey urged 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,” he said.

Mr Harvey urged the police to investigate and act on all cases of child sexual abuse with the urgency they deserved.

He said the judiciary should also quickly dispose of all sexual gender-based violence cases involving children.

Mr Harvey appealed to the media to report all forms of violence against children.

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