Govt reiterates commitment to improve children’s lives

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———- Nakonde District Council (NDC) Chairperson, Leornard Mukwasa, says the Zambian government remains committed to improving the lives of children in the country.

Mr Mukwasa says the commitment manifests itself from the ratification of important Human Rights treaties on children such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (C182).

The Council Chairperson said this during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) under the theme “Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children – Our Collective Responsibility” in Nakonde district of Muchinga Province yesterday.

Mr Mukwasa stressed that government will continue to provide a favourable environment in which women and children are protected from some of the harmful social and cultural practices.

He stated that the Day of an African Child further presents an opportunity to reflect on the lived realities of children as it allows governments and stakeholders to refocus attention on the situation children are facing on the continent, including Zambia.

Mr Mukwasa said the list of harmful social and cultural practices that one can find in Africa and Zambia in particular include practices such as forced and early marriages, child marriages, virginity testing, degrading and harmful initiation among others.

He noted that to curb this phenomenon, government has embarked on programmes such as campaign against early marriages where traditional leaders are working with government and communities to ensure that children, especially girls, are protected from such vices.

And representing the children, Bertha Mwalula, a Grade Nine pupil at Ikawa Primary School,
said she is grateful at the mechanisms government has put in place to eliminate harmful practices and make Zambia a better place for children.

Mwalula observed that government has strengthened the enforcement of laws that protect children and women as they are the most vulnerable in any given society.

The Day of an African Child commemoration is held annually on the African continent which is an occasion to recall the 1976 uprising in Soweto, South Africa, when school-going children protested against apartheid which resulted in the killing of many of them.