Combined effort needed to protect children

Zimbabwe needs a holistic approach to protect the rights of young people and make current regulations effective, says Samantha Moyo.

Samantha Moyo.
Samantha Moyo.

The Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust programmes officer said the country already had the right policies but needed to mainstream them. Problems such as those highlighted in the Zimbabwe Youth Council report on eliminating harmful cultural and social practices affecting children show the need for all members of society to look at their individual responsibilities in protecting the young.

“Our government must continue acting in collaboration with organisations such as Justice for Children and Childline, which are very active,” said Moyo. “There is a long way to go on implementation but the fact that we have regulations such as the Child Protection Act is already a major plus for us.”

Moyo said that laws requiring background checks on all people working with children and the country’s HIV/AIDS and gender policies were important platforms for safeguarding the welfare of young people. She said parents’ role in nurturing children should be protected.

“What builds a child is the father and mother, the education system, the community, and our local governance structures. If a child suffers abuse physically or sexually the case goes to the police’s victim friendly unit where he or she is then referred to the clinics. It’s a system that is important for the rights of young people,” Moyo said.

She paid the homage to the extended family system that is catering for children whose parents have gone abroad for better economic opportunities or passed away due to HIV/AIDS.

Moyo was speaking after launching a new award recognising print, broadcast, and online journalism on content that expresses youths as positive drivers of social change in their communities.

“We believe that the media plays a critical role in amplifying the voices of the young people. Involving the media in our programming enables them to see things from young people’s perspective,” she said.

The ZYC report showed that early marriage, child prostitution, child labour, child sexual abuse, and border jumping were highly prevalent in Zimbabwe.

Post published in: News

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