Expert bemoans child rights violation cases

A child rights campaigner has bemoaned a surge in child rights violation cases in the country despite efforts by different quarters to curb the vice.

The campaigner, Esmie Tembenu, made the remarks during the closure of Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO’s) week long campaign aimed at commemorating the International Day of a Girl Child.

Tembenu attributed the development to lenient punishments given to perpetrators especially in cases of sexual abuse.

She said: “Looking at a pace we are moving now in the area of imposition of sentences to sexual child abusers and the rate of defilement in Malawi then probably we will be thinking of pushing parliament to pass a law which will see men who are sexually abusing the children being castrated.”

However, she said efforts to ensure the protection of the children must be applied first so that castration should be a last resort.

She has since said its high time the country reviewed its laws on castrating the culprits like what Nigeria did so as to ensure that children are protected.

Tembenu was referring to a recent decision by the governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna state who signed a law saying men convicted of rape would be subjected to surgical castration with those found guilty of raping a child under the age of 14 facing death penalty.

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

According to 2018 UNICEF Child Protection Statistics in Malawi, 65% of girls and 35% of boys experience child abuse in their life time.

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