Malawiâ€™s National Assembly on Monday adopted a report of the first meeting of the countryâ€™s Youth Parliament which among others recommended stiff punishment for forced marriages and to those who impregnate girls and abscond from their responsibilities to look after the child.
The resolutions also called for stiff sentences on offences relating to abuse of childrenâ€™s rights such as child labour, rape, defilement and molesting.
During the debate on the report, almost all MPs agreed with most of the resolutions, arguing that youths are an important component of society.
â€œThe youth make a very big constituency in our country and across Africa,â€ said Ntcheu Bwanje South MP Dr Luscious Kanyumba, who is a former Minister of Youth.
He agreed with a resolution that called for mandatory retirement for those who reach retirement age to ensure upward mobility of youths.
â€œI wonder why youths are denied jobs just because of lack of experience. I know that experience is a good teacher, but sometimes you wonder how the youth will get the experience when you find people who are supposed to sharing folk tales with their grandchildren are in offices,â€ said Kanyumba.
Lilongwe City South West MP Jean Sendeza said there is need for government to invest in education and to make education compulsory as one way of enhancing teaching and learning.
Â â€œI also agree that we need stiff penalties to parents who force children into early marriages or forced labour,â€ she said.
The five resolutions at the Youth Parliament looked at issues related to children welfare, education, human rights, violations and responsibilities, information communication technology (ICT) and transport development; health; and Economic Empowerment.
On education, the youth, among others, called for construction of more schools, libraries and laboratories in community day secondary schools, more girls secondary schools and hostels, revision of government bursaries and that government should own and champion schools feeding programme.
The Youth Parliament was held in Lilongwe from August 23 to 24 2012 and drew youths representatives from all the 193 constituencies of the country.