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NICE, Law Commission in child protection drive in Chikwawa

NICE, Law Commission in child protection drive in Chikwawa

National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust in collaboration with the Malawi Law Commission have reached out to 20 primary schools in Chikwawa district with the aim of empowering both learners and school structures on child related laws.

The development comes following findings of Violence Against Children and Young Women in Malawi Survey (VACS) which indicate an increase and a social norm in Malawi communities as statistics show that 2 out of 3 Malawians experience violence in their childhood.

The statistics also show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 while 40 percent of girls and 64 percent of boys suffer physical abuse during their childhood.

Chief Civic Education Officer for the Malawi Law Commission, Gills Kalibwe Msiska said in a recent interview that the interventions which were being done with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also wanted to enable the school structures which comprised of Mother Groups, Parents Teachers Association, School Management Committees as well as traditional and faith leaders to protect and prevent violence against children.

Msiska said throughout the interventions, responses from both sides were great and could demonstrate how at some point people conflicted with the law.

“But after getting the messages, they have ensured us that they will use the information by applying it in their communities in order to make sure that the people are also aware so that together they can protect our own children,” he said

The Chief Civic Education Officer then urged NICE Trust to continue utilizing its community structures across the district in spearheading the campaign in events like funerals, weddings and community meetings among others even at a time when resources do not permit.

On his part, Chikwawa district, Civic Education Officer, for NICE Trust, Kondwani Malunga said throughout the discussions it was also noted that there is a need to do more in as far as parents children relationship is concerned.

Malunga said there is a very big gap between parents and their children thereby affecting growth of children in terms of how they conduct themselves but also on the part of parents.

“We noted that some of the issues are coming out because there is no good relationship between parents and their children. We encouraged them to have a good working relationship with their children as this is also important in as far as fighting violence against children is concerned.

According to Malunga, issues like defilement, corporal punishment at school, fights among learners, being beaten at home and denied food were listed down as common violence children are facing throughout their engagements in the district.

Taking his turn, Emmanuel Rice, School Inspector in Chikwawa hailed NICE and the Malawi Law Commission for the initiative saying the interventions will go along way in assisting children in the district to understand some of the laws that are in the country’s constitution particularly those that safeguard them.

“They have engaged learners from Standard 5 up to 7 as well as the school structures. The messages have been good and we need to sustain them even in their absence. This will also help reduce school dropout especially girls.

“Am sure the boys and girls are now fully aware of their rights and know where they can report whenever they have been abused,” stated Rice

265 Magazine

265 Magazine is an online publication run by Malawian journalist with the core purpose of bringing most reliable news to the population.

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