The government has reiterated its commitment towards upholding the rights of children across the country.
Lusaka Province minister Sheal Mulyata says government will continue strengthening existing measures to address the challenges faced by children especially the girl child.
Ms. Mulyata states that government has made strides to address challenges faced by children such as the enactment of the child code bill into law.
Ms. Mulyata was speaking in a speech read on her behalf by Chongwe district commissioner Dr. Evans Lupiya during the international day of the of the girl child commemorations at Margaret Mwachiyeya Secondary school in Chongwe.
She said the enactment of the Child code bill demonstrates the importance government attaches to improve the welfare of children in the country.
Government acknowledges the challenges facing girls in the country such as lack of access to education and participation in decision making processes among others.
“The scourge of early marriages is another problem which had continued to negatively affect the lives of girls which in turn affects their future.
“ Government is working with traditional leaders in the fight against early marriages, ” said Ms. Mulyata.
She thanked all stakeholders that have been supplementing government’s efforts to curb early marriages among girls and improve their lives.
Meanwhile, World vision National Director John Hasse states that World Vision will continue supporting children in its areas of operation.
Mr. Hasse said the organisation is working with children in a number of schools under young journalist clubs to enable them to voice out their views on issues affecting them in society.
He urged all stakeholders in the country to make efforts to protect and promote the rights of children.
“Protecting and promoting children’s rights is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s all work together and improve the welfare of children in the country,” Mr Hasse said.
Speaking during the same event, Luyando Himwinga a Grade 11 pupil at Margaret Mwachiyeya Secondary School called on government and other stakeholders to create more platforms to enable them to participate in decision making processes affecting the girl child.
Himwinga commended government for enacting the Child Code Bill but however, called for the Act to be published in a simplified format and made available to school going children.
“We are grateful to the Government for enacting the Child Code Bill and we want this Bill to be distributed across the country, ” said Himwinga.
She further called for policies which will abolish cultural norms which prevent girls from voicing out their concerns and participating in decision making processes.
The International Day of a girl child commemoration punctuated by poems, dances , traditional music from pupils and live performance by Brian Bwembya aka B – flow was also attended by children from Muchinga, Central, North wetstern,Northern and Southern Province.
The renowned musician also took time to counsel the young people to make decisions that will impact on them positively when they grow up.
He said he is what he is today because of the positive decision he made when he was young.
“I want to urge you to make positive decisions about what you want to be in life when you grow up. Make decisions now on what you want to be in future,” said Bwembya..