Children’s rights our priority: VP Chiwenga

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said the Government is committed to the full implementation and enforcement of children’s rights laws in line with international conventions.

He made the remarks during the commemoration of the World Children’s Day held at Malala Primary School in Beitbridge yesterday.

VP Chiwenga said the theme for this year’s commemoration, which is renewing the promise for children’s rights, was important in ensuring that the children rights were not only observed, but enforced and enjoyed by children.

“We can no longer speak about the children without talking about their rights. Every child has the right to express their views and to be heard, as enshrined in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said the Vice President.

“This event affords us the opportunity to collectively reaffirm our unwavering commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of our children.

“The Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to the implementation of its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. We have always had, the protection, provision and promotion of the children’s rights at the core of our developmental trajectory.”

He said already, Zimbabwe now had the Child Protection Legal Policy and Institutional Framework which was initiated in 2013.

The Vice President added that the Constitution had a progressive declaration which provided for the protection for the children’s rights under section 81.

He said the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) committed the Government to improving the care and protection of vulnerable children, including children with disabilities.

“In line with the 2022 Transformation Education Summit commitments, the Government approved the national Early Learning Policy to ensure that children have access to early learning at the right age,” said Vice President Chiwenga.

“In efforts to further strengthen our domestic legal framework, and in line with our conviction that early child education is one key methods of promoting the wellbeing of children, the Government enacted the Education Act, that provides for basic State-funded education and the retention of pregnant girls in schools.”

He said in the area of climate action, the country had made significant strides in putting children at the centre of climate policies, strategies and plans.

This, he added, would ensure that climate issues were tackled, having duly considered the interest of the child.

Vice President Chiwenga said the Government had also introduced the provision of a child maker in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of children.

“We are also concerned about the issue of drugs and substance abuse, which if left unattended to, will cause untold damage to lives and livelihoods of young people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“This reality is not lost on the child parliamentarians, who have highlighted the rise on several occasions. We have set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to formulate strategies and coordinate responses to the issue of drug and substance abuse in the country. We cannot allow the future of our children to be stolen by the scourge of drug and substance abuse.”

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon commended Zimbabwe for the unwavering commitment to the advancement and development of children.

He said the World Children’s Day served as an inspirational platform to promote and celebrate the rights of children.

“It offers an opportunity for meaningful dialogue and collective action towards creating a brighter future for our children,” said Mr Kallon.

“The United Nations recognises education as a fundamental human right, and it is our firm belief that every child deserves access to quality education without discrimination.”

It was imperative that children, irrespective of their social or economic backgrounds, be afforded the opportunity to learn, develop, and reach their full potential.

He said Zimbabwe had made considerable progress in ensuring access to quality education throughout the country although challenges persisted.

Mr Kallon said investing in education and prioritising its importance was key to protecting and empowering children and breaking the cycle of poverty.

“Through collective action and collaboration between the government, civil society organisations, and individuals, we can ensure that every child enjoys their right to education,” he added.

Child President, Neville Mavu applauded Sadc heads of state for recognising the importance of children’s rights at the World Children’s Rights Day commemoration in Namibia last week.

“By providing us with a seat at the table through Junior Parliamentarians, councils, and other forms of child-led groups, they have shown that our voices matter and our perspectives are valued,” he said.

“Children’s rights are not just words on paper, they are the foundation upon which our societies should be built and renewed. 

“As such we must ensure that every child enjoys their rights to survival, development, protection, and participations.”

Herald

Positive Eye News

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