Children convening in Mwanza ahead of the Children’s Parliament have called on authorities to ensure child participation is embraced for meaningful gains.
Speaking on Tuesday, Child Speaker Victoria Ganamba asked government to fast-track the National Children Commission (NCC).
“I call upon government to engage children. There should be a holistic involvement,” she said.
Another member of Parliament (MP), Jack Moses said anything short of involving them was unacceptable. “We hope our voice will be heard.”
The panel discussion on children’s role in the NCC’s operation was convened courtesy of Save the Children (Malawi).
At the end of the discussion, there was consensus that the NCC should embrace the children’s Parliament at national level as a matter of policy.
“It is important that child MPs from all over the country should meet to discuss matters concerning them. This is a matter we cannot ignore any more,” said child MP Elizabeth Kamchanda.
Save the Children child rights governance manager Donnex Bengo said the process of obtaining children’s views is ongoing that will result in the development of the National Child Participation Policy for NCC to operate effectively.
Among others, the NCC will seek to champion child participation and advancing mainstreaming of child rights in the country’s development discourse. NCC is yet to be operationalised, starting with the recruitment of staff and establishment of the secretariat.