Harmful cultural practices and little knowledge about Child Care and Justice Act among parents continue infringing children rights in Dowa, it has emerged.
These issues were raised by children during a two-day children’s parliament organised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the district on Thursday and Friday last week.
The children said cultural practices such as kusasa fumbi and forced early marriages are still happening in the district, threatening the children’s future.
The children asked district authorities to address the challenges and save them from psychological, social and moral torture they continue facing.
“We are tired and we need quick interventions for our problems. Many children fail to further their education to such oppressive practices,” said the children in their resolutions submitted to the district council.
Inkosi Msakambewa confirmed the challenges that the children raised. He said chiefs are already working on by-laws to address them.
“The issues raised are realistic but we are already working on by-laws to address them,” he said.
Director of children affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare McNight Kalanda said the ministry will ensure that communities are sensitised to child rights.
Genet Gender programmes officer Twambirire Kayuni said the children’s parliament was organised to give children a platform to discuss their grievances and provide a channel for relaying the issues to authorities.
The organisations that supported children’s parliament are Girls Empowerment Network (Genet), World Vision, Plan International and Wendesence.