Deputy Inspector General (IG) of Police responsible for administration, Duncan Mwapasa, has called on Malawians to be patriotic as one way of ensuring child safety in the country.
Mwapasa made the call at Kanjedza police training school in Blantyre, at the opening of the prevention of violence against children in emergency areas review meeting.
Mwapasa said it was sad that children, mostly girls, remain vulnerable to abuse when accessing relief assistance from various organisations.
He cited examples where some relief workers reportedly demand sex from young girls and women in exchange of relief items, a situation which he said is pathetic hence called on those affected to quickly report such matters to relevant authorities so that police are able to act with urgency.
“The Malawi Police Service (MPS) remains an active government institution in the protection of children in whatever category. As such, schools and youth outreach programmes have been outlined in the Malawi Police Service strategic plan in order to prevent violence against children and promote involvement of children and young people in the fight against crime,” he said.
Mwapasa further said MPS has made significant improvements from the previous year in reducing child abuse cases, but called on other stakeholders to help in the further reduction of the cases.
He said 13, 824 children and women survivors of violence and abuse received services from 34 victim support units in 2016, representing a 5 percent decrease from 2015 figures.
Mwapasa further added: “60 percent more children and women survivors of sexual abuse have accessed services at police victim support units over the past two years.”
He said MPS will further strive to strengthen community policing systems so as to provide a proper linkage between the communities and the police to make sure that child abuse perpetrators are easily identified and brought to book.