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State re-affirms committment to promotion of child rights

HENRY SINYANGWE, Kasama
NORTHERN Province permanent secretary Hlobotha Nkunika says Government will not relent in promoting and protecting children’s rights, including the right to education.
Speaking when he officiated at a panel discussion forum on child’s rights and governance on Wednesday, Mr Nkunika said Government stands ready to support the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to ensure that children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
He said Zambians should be sensitised on the importance of education for children.
“They should prioritise and appreciate the importance of education for their children as opposed to subjecting them to child labour, drug and alcohol abuse, harmful traditional practices, gender inequalities and violence against children,” Mr Nkunika said.
He said the commemoration of children’s rights in Northern Province is timely because the area is still recording poor examination results in all grades.
“Traditional leaders should also take keen interest in ensuring that parents do not marry off their children at an early stage when they are still at school, or subject them to tasks such as caterpillar collection at the expense of them being in school,” Mr Nkunika said.
And Northern Province Human Rights coordinator Kelvin Muchima said it is imperative for Government and other stakeholders to take stock of the success scored and challenges faced in addressing child rights governance issues.
Mr Muchima said recommendations from children and discussions will be used by HRC to engage policy and lawmakers.
He commended the government on measures it has put in place to make quality education, accessible for all children.
“However, the Commission thinks that more efforts are needed to improve the availability, accessibility and quality of education for children in rural areas. We therefore call on Government to address various factors affecting or threatening the child’s right to education,” Mr Muchima said.

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