Children’s rights still at risk-YONECO

By Shadreck Sindiza

Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), a child rights campaigner,   has rated Malawi at 40 percent in the fight against child violence.

YONECO’s Executive Director, MacBain Mkandawire, made the remarks in Lilongwe during a Christmas party which the organization held together with the ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, to celebrate with the street connected children.

Mkandawire said rights of many children in the country are at risk despite the country’s commitment to several laws and treaties towards child protection.

He cited the increased cases of defilement, delay by courts to conclude cases involving violence against children as some of the stumbling blocks in the quest to protect the child.

Mkandawire said: “As a country we are good at enacting laws but implementation of those laws is hampered by a number of factors that include corruption both at police and judicial levels because sometimes people get surprised that obvious cases that have incriminating evidence but at the end the accused person is acquitted.”

He therefore called on the ministry of gender to engage the ministry of justice and look into the loopholes to ensure the cases involving the children are expediated.

In her remarks, deputy Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Grace Kwelepata, said her ministry acknowledges the challenges facing street connected children in the country and further pledged for continued support from government towards the protection of children in the country.

The Christmas party brought together children from various child care centers, government officials, child welfare stakeholders among others.

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