Head of the human rights unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat Karen McKenzie has pledged continued support towards prevention and eradication of child marriages in the country.
Speaking in the aftermath of working sessions on early child marriages with chiefs, boys and girls in Karonga on Monday, MacKenzie said early and forced child marriages pose serious threats to social and economic development of the country.
She, however, expressed satisfaction with efforts chiefs and the youth have shown in combating the problem.
“I am also impressed with the efforts and political will shown by the Government of Malawi by, among others, putting in necessary legal frameworks aimed at preventing and eradicating early and forced child marriages,” she said.
Mackenzie added that Commonwealth will give consideration to domestic legislation of member countries and relevant international legal instruments.
Commonwealth resource person responsible for the youth Chimwemwe Kaonga emphasised the need for member countries to share best practices, challenges and achievements in addressing the implementation gaps.
Kaonga commended Commonwealth for implementing the Kigali Declaration in Malawi, which highlights the importance of engaging the youth in ending early and forced child marriages.
Among the outcomes, a caucus for chiefs was formulated comprising Chowe (Mangochi) as chairperson, Kachindamoto (Dedza), Lukwa (Kasungu), Mabulabo (Mzimba) and Kilupula of Karonga. Paramount Chief Kyungu is the patron. n