One child is defiled every 4 hours in Zambia

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More than 2500 cases of child defilement were recorded in the year 2018, which translates to one child being defiled every four hours, reveals Save the Children Zambia.

Save the Children Zambia, a nongovernmental organization which has been operating since1989, implementing assistance and developmental programme in Health and Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Child Rights Governance, Education, Child Poverty and Child Protection, says defilement cases are unacceptably high and must be curbed.

“According to the first quarter gender-based violence statistics by the Zambia Police Service, the nation recorded 495 child defilement cases. While there is a reduction by 150 cases compared to the same period last year, the current figures remain unacceptably high. Earlier this year, the nation was informed that in 2018, the total recorded child defilement cases stood at 2,578 (2,574 girls, 04 boys),” the NGO said in a statement.

“As Save the Children, we wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the unacceptably high levels of Sexual Violence Against Children in Zambia. We note with concern the cases of child defilement occurring at an average rate of 6 defilement cases per day (one child defiled every 4 hours). We call upon all institutions, households and individuals to uphold the highest standards of behaviours towards children both in their private and professional lives”.

And Save the Children country Director Duncan Harvey saya his NGO, through its child protection work, supports parents and institutions to prioritise the rights of children, especially their right to be protected from all forms of harm.

“Last week we received the news from the Zambia Police Service with great concern. These statistics show us that in spite of efforts by various actors to curb this form of violence, much more needs to be done to protect children. We note that these statistics refer only to those cases that have been reported to the police, so there may be many more Zambian children who have experienced violence but have not reported,” Harvey said in a statement made available to the media.

Meanwhile, the NGO has asked the media to partner with them for the stronger voice for the children who need it especially at a time when they are experiencing pain, danger and injustice as a result of this despicable form of violence.

“The media must report all forms of violence children are exposed to in Zambia using child friendly reporting principles regardless of the form the violence takes, be it emotional, physical, sexual, exploitation and child labour or neglect,” Save the Children Zambia said.

“We are asking for an uncompromising determination from all actors to put in place the concrete measures listed above that will address sexual violence against children. As a nation our efforts to achieve child wellbeing, such as education and health, will be greatly undermined if we do not tackle this serious form of child rights abuse and we will fail to reach the targets we have signed up for under the Sustainable Developmental Goals.”

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31