Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on eradicating violence against children, especially child marriages, should study and calculate the cost of the malpractice on regional economic growth.
Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Parliamentary Women Caucus chairperson Jessie Kabwila made the observation last week in South Africa during the launch of a World Vision campaign called Ending Violence Against Children (Evac).
She said violence against children and child marriages bring with them multiple development outcomes that have implications on the economic well-being.
Kabwila said since moving forward with the campaign demands political will, there was need to approach countries in the region with statistics that highlight the impact of the problem.
“Because child marriages contribute to poverty levels and dependency on the State, we need to approach our finance ministers and give them figures,” she said.
In his remarks, World Vision Southern Africa Region interim director Jean Claude Mokadi said his organisation will do everything it takes to reach out to the most vulnerable children trapped in various forms of violence.
“Curbing these ills is a matter of urgency. We have no luxury of waiting for tomorrow,” he said.
Guest of honour at the event, Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho, who is also World Vision’s Goodwill Ambassador, said the region cannot let go of this moment for change, urging all nationals who were part of the launch to go back and accelerate the momentum for change.