Zim impresses Unicef on children’s rights

The United Nations International Children’s Fund (Unicef) is impressed by progress made by the Government of Zimbabwe to guarantee children’s rights and is recommending other countries to tap from this example.

The affirmation was made by Unicef representative to Zimbabwe Dr Tajudeen Oyewale when he paid a courtesy call on Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga in Harare yesterday.

The courtesy call on VP Chiwenga comes as the United Nations agency is stepping up preparations for this year’s World Children’s Day, which is celebrated the world over on the 20th of November.

It also comes as Unicef has in the past three years, having stepped up collaborative efforts with Government, particularly as Zimbabwe paced up on guaranteeing children’s safety, rights and opportunities’ creation as laid out by President Mnangagwa.

Unicef also coordinates a quad national celebration of children’s day between Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana.

“This meeting was to inform the Honourable Vice President (Dr Chiwenga) about preparations for that (International Children’s Day),” said Dr Oyewale.

“(The meeting) was also to let him know about the progress we are making working with the children of Zimbabwe. Like I told him, I am very proud of our children in Zimbabwe.

“They have shown dedication, they have shown innovation and they have also given me and Unicef a reason why we should continue to invest in our children.

“You will recall that the last Parliament (2018 to 2023) spent time looking into the amendment to the Marriages Act.

“We are proud to have been part of the team that made the advocacy and that legislation now prohibits the marriage of a child less than 18 (years old),” he said.

Dr Oyewale also noted that this amendment is hugely significant in that it almost guarantees young girls the right and freedom to pursue their educational goals up to an age they can make decisions on commitments like marriage.

He said it was his hope that the rest of the world, especially those that are yet to, tap from this legislative example.

“Maybe just a bit of digression, I was in Beitbridge in Mangwe District early this week, and we went to see the Children’s Court.

“The children’s court in Zimbabwe is one of the best I have seen in my career and I am happy to say that we are now collaborating with Botswana to also export the learning from that approach,” he said.

He said there remains work to be done in terms of expanding services for children, to mobilise more partnerships towards attaining children’s rights as set out in the National Development Strategy 1.


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