Vice President Inonge Wina has called for enhanced efforts towards eradicating vices that infringe on children’s rights such as violence against children.
Mrs. Wina has observed that violence against children is injustice that has reached global levels resulting in the United Nations agencies to take keen interest in the welfare of children at country level.
“I wish to stress that government needs the partnerships to support efforts towards eliminating violence against children and securing the best interests and rights of children across the country,” she noted.
She said this is why government has put in place a number of policy measures and administration to address the plight of children and respond to the global agenda of protection of children.
The Vice President was speaking in Lusaka today, during the inter-ministerial dialogue on violence against children in Zambia.
Mrs. Wina said government has also resolved to show commitment to the subject matter through the vow to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC) which is supposed to be domesticated through the Children’s Code bill.
She however, wondered why the Children’s Code bill has taken long to be tabled before parliament, further directing the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development to ensure that the bill be presented before parliament, adding that it will help in protecting the rights of children.
“The efforts to domesticate this instrument through the Children’s Code bill has taken long. As Vice President of the Republic of Zambia and leaders of government business in parliament I am directing the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development to ensure that the bill comes to parliament without any further delay,” she stressed.
The Vice President added that despite Zambia’s ability to benchmark the efforts and interventions at national, regional and global levels a lot still needs to be done due to the escalating cases of child abuse that are taking place in various parts of the country resulting in among other cases teen pregnancies.
Mrs. Wina stated that this is why there is need for stakeholders to work together towards increasing child protection actions by enhancing coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of interventions in order to sustain the delivery of child development programmes.
World Health Organisation Country Representative Nathan Bakyaita has praised Zambia for the strides made in eliminating all forms of abuse against children.
Dr. Bakyaita said violence against children worldwide does not just affect the welfare of children but economic activities as well.
“Violence against children has continued to be a challenge around, but it is worth noting that any form of child abuse does not affect the child alone but it affects the economy and income generating activities for nations,” he said.
He added that this is why there is need for countries to step up their efforts in addressing issues affecting children if they are also to achieve the set targets on Sustainable Development Goals.
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPEVAC) has encouraged Zambia to continue on the strong path of demonstrating political will towards ending violence against children and ensuring that children’s rights are upheld and respected.
GPEVAC Executive Director Tim Howard explained that this is evidenced by Zambia’s active participation and involvement in finding solutions to matters that affect the plight of children.