Govt, Katswe rescue 73 girls from sexual exploitation

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GOVERNMENT together with Katswe Sistahood have to date rescued 73 children that were being sexually exploited under the guise of selling sex, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.

by VENERANDA LANGA

In a ministerial statement in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Mupfumira said her ministry launched investigations soon after the media reported on children engaged in transactional sex.

“Our officers and Katswe Sistahood have removed 73 children to date, 54 from Hopley and 19 from Epworth after a Cabinet directive that we need to set up a national task force responsible for the creation of a responsive environment to prevent sexual exploitation of the children,” she said.

Mupfumira said this in a ministerial statement in response to a motion by Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who had called on the government to act urgently to rescue the affected girls, some of them as young as nine.

“The exercise is being treated as an urgent matter and all the identified children were sent to a safe house and have been profiled by social workers for counselling and holistic therapy.”

Mupfumira said since, the blitz, no new cases had been reported, adding a ministerial taskforce had since been set up, with the police and several non-government organisations also coming in to assist.

“From the needs assessment, it was found that 71 girls were school dropouts. Two from Epworth were still at school and will be sitting for O Levels in October. Medical exams were done on the 73 children, and found that 28 were not sexually exploited, one of the girls is on ARVs and 25 girls do not have birth certificates,” she said.

She said 10 girls were taken to Ruwa Vocational Training Centre for skills training, with 46 children placed at children’s homes.
“There is sprouting of unregistered shebeens in Hopley, Epworth and Hatcliffe and all these places need to be visited,” Mupfumira said.

She said there was need to strengthen social protection, but her ministry was facing shortages of social workers, whose ratio is 1:14 000, as well as mobility for those social workers.

3 COMMENTS

  1. munovapedza here kunze kwekuti vapiwa mapurazi nemapadza, voswera havo vachirima vachiziva kuti pakupera kwemwaka, kuagribank mari inenge iri ti-i. the government needs more such wings with aligned policies in order to increase its reach.

  2. i an just saddened by the ratio of a child in need versus social workers. its realy not practical hence an going to put in my application to this Ministry so i can help

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