PACHI, UNICEF In Ending Child Marriages Campaign
The Parent and Child Health Initiative in collaboration with UNICEF has joined hands with government in ending child marriages and eradicating harmful practices that fuel gender based violence in neno district.
Addressing a stakeholders meeting on Friday, Neno district Social Welfare Officer Paul Sosono says the district is registering positive strides in ending child marriages.
"In 2021, 248 child marriages were recorded against 49 of 2022 which is much lower, and we attribute this to sound bylaws and court circuits," said Sosono.
He further asked for proper counseling services to people affected by gender based violence and girls withdrawn from child marriages so that they reintegrate easily into the society.
The DSWO then reminded Faith leaders, politicians and other players of their role in assisting in ending the vice, saying their position in society has a role in ending early marriages.
On her part, the Neno First Grade Magistrate Magret Khobili underscored the need for massive sensitisation on the laws that project the child, like the Child Justice Act, saying most people think it favours the girl child.
"We need to put more resources in popularising the law, as most people think our judgements favour the girl child regardless of age gap of the children involved," she said.
She made a reference of a recent debate where 15 year olds are being jailed for impregnating or having a consetual sexual affair with 16 or 17 year olds.
Taking his turn, Neno district council chairperson councilor Mark Ngwangwa has since appealed to adults to desist from taking advantage of their economic status and start sleeping around with vulnerable groups of people such as young girls and women.
Group Village Head Mlauli thinks povert is a key to most of the abuses that people are going through hence a need for partners to join hands in addressing the root causes.
Meanwhile, Neno Police Officer in Charge Hanleck Chingolo warned that his office will not shield anyone who injures the law including his officers and others.
The project which is for eight months is dubbed " Ending Child Marriages and Harmful Including GBV through Youth Policy and Advocacy in Neno district,".