Mulunguzi Magistrate’s Court senior resident magistrate Rodrick Michongwe says courts will not spare perpetrators of various forms of abuse against children in evacuation camps in Zomba.
He said this on Friday at Mapalo Primary School in Zomba during the commemoration of the 2019 Day of African Child, whose focus was the protection of all children’s rights in humanitarian crises.
“Children are human beings just like anyone else and they also have to enjoy their rights at all times even in crisis such as floods.
“Let us prioritise and protect them by reporting the perpetrators of child abuse to law enforcing agencies and all relevant authorities for action,” he said.
On his part, Zomba district social welfare officer Stephano Joseph said currently, recovery efforts are in progress and called on stakeholders to safeguard rights of children.
“As we recover from disaster, let us be vigilant as some people may want to take advantage of the situation to traffic them,” he said.
In her speech, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Grace Kwelepeta said government will ensure that conditions of children are improved by creating and strengthening a protective environment during emergencies such as floods.
In the previous floods in Zomba early this year, over 29 892 households, including 6 500 children, were displaced and sought refuge in evacuation camps, which included schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and other public and private facilities.