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CSOs challenged on child rights

CIVIL society organisations advocating children’s rights have been advised to be proactive as Government implements the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) to make it more responsive to the development needs and aspirations of young ones. Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba says Government has remained committed to the welfare of children amid other development needs. Ms Mwamba said this yesterday during opening of a two-day national children’s symposium. She said this in a speech read for her by the ministry’s director of finance, Thomas Phiri. “The Government is stepping up efforts to ensure a conducive and safe environment for the children to enjoy their rights through policy and legal actions,” she said. In line with this year’s World Children’s Day theme: “A better future for every child”, Government has employed many interventions whose results can only be realised with the participation of young ones.
She encouraged children to take the symposium seriously and submit outcomes of the gathering to Government for consideration. Ms Mwamba said Government is confident that the Child Code Act, which was signed in August this year, is a game changer in the protection of children against abuse and exploitation. Ms Mwamba said the law will ensure that children enjoy their childhood, realise their potential and grow into productive adults. Earlier, Lifeline/Childline Zambia board chairperson Hendrix Shamainda said Government can only realise the vision of not leaving anyone behind if citizens, including children, highlight their needs and challenges. In a vote of thanks, Faustina Kapumpe, from ChildFund, said the young ones are ready to make a difference in society in line with what is stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of Children and the 8NDP.
She said poverty, vulnerability and inequality are a big hindrance to development.