Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba says the Zambian government is implement a robust programme of action meant to curtail the increased cases of early and forced marriages that have become a danger to socio-economic development.
Mr. Kalaba says the Zambian government is leading in efforts of finding solutions that will eliminate the harmful practice of child marriage and provide support to already married adolescents.
He says the re-entry policy of school girls who fall pregnant is one major intervention that has enabled victims of early pregnancies to return to school and continue with their education.
Mr. Kalaba was presenting a country statement yesterday at a special session dubbed, “early marriages and forced marriages” at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United states of America.
The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that early marriages have serious consequences on girls.
He said some of the consequences are poor health outcomes and lost opportunities for education and empowerment.
Mr. Kalaba said it was for this reason that Zambia has put in place effective strategies to address early marriages which will enable girls fulfil their potential and contribute to the development of their families and communities.
He disclosed that Zambia was spearheading the rolling out of the campaign and programme by setting up an inter-ministerial committee to end child, early and forced marriages.
Members of Parliament, traditional leaders, community leaders, civil society, and churches are also involved in conducting awareness on child, early and forced marriages.
The minister said government was also undertaking career guidance programmes in schools to inspire girls and boys to take up careers in different fields according to their abilities.