Save the Children Intensifies Mobile Courts in Neno

 - pic by Steve Kalungwe - pic by Steve Kalungwe Members of youth clubs and professionals interacting on sexual offenses management

Save the Children Malawi in Neno district has appealed to child led clubs and youth groups to develop a culture of reporting cases of child abuse in a bid to reduce child marriages and incidents of defilement that are becoming common in the country.

Save the Children Project Officer for Child Friendly Mobile Courts, Dalitso Mipando, emphasized on the need for child centered clubs to be equipped with knowledge of case reporting saying channels of case reporting be must friendly enough to ensure access to justice.

"Child friendly mobile courts are vital since when a case is being tried right in the community or village where a crime took place, it means that those patronizing the courts will be warned on the dangers of committing a similar offense," said Mipando.

Mipando further says that youth clubs must be made aware of the channels available for case reporting where their identities are protected, saying a lot of whistle blowers are afraid to report due to fear.

On her part, Mercy Kamwendo, Neno police victim support unit officer bemoaned lack of interest by primary victims of sexual abuse to report cases to police.

"We are receiving very minimal cases from direct victims, this is worrisome as we miss certain evidences that could have led us to easy convictions of suspects through concrete submissions," said Kamwendo.

Hope Mwafulirwa, Neno district youth officer called on chiefs to work hand in hand with youth clubs saying taking youths as enemies is frustrating efforts to end sexual violence among the youth.

Save the Children has introduced mobile courts where a magistrate court is being moved to the community where an incident of child abuse took place as a deterrent to would-be offenders.

The project is also giving children access to justice where their rights are being protected by the communities they live in.

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