Eye of the Child, an organisation that advocates child rights, has bemoaned the increase in child abuses in the country after it recorded over 196 cases in the past nine months.
Eye of the child executive director Maxwell Matewere in an interview cited child neglect, sexual abuse and imprisonment of children as major forms of abuse.
Matewere said it is sad that child abuse cases continue to rise despite several interventions.
“If we were to compare the statistics with those of the previous years, the situation now is worse because each day we are witnessing an increase in cases of sexual abuse, street begging, domestic violence, early marriages and child neglect.
“Based on the statistics, child neglect, sexual abuse and imprisonment of children are the major forms of abuses which have surpassed other cases,” he said.
Matewere, however, blamed government for violating some children’s rights by keeping them in prisons alongside their mothers serving various jail sentences.
“It is very unfortunate that government is not devising mechanisms to eradicate various forms of child abuses because as of now, some children are still being kept in prisons instead of orphanages.
“Children that are in prisons must be released immediately as the impact [of prison conditions] on their life will remain with them,” said Matewere.
Recently, the Ministry of Gender, Women and Child Welfare principal secretary Dr Mary Shawa told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) that government is establishing community-based childcare centres in all prisons to alleviate the plight of children living alongside their mothers and also young offenders.