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Govt commits to protect children

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BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has committed to craft laws that protect children from harmful practices which include child marriages and drug abuse.

Mnangagwa said this while officiating at the 30th session of the Junior Parliament held at the City Sports Centre in Harare on Saturday under the theme: Eliminating harmful practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy and Practice since 2013.

“We, therefore, celebrate the milestones we have made in advancing children’s aspirations, rights and welfare while we work concertedly towards finding ways to tackle emerging challenges and gaps that still exist,” Mnangagwa said.

“Government commissioned research to interrogate the various socio-cultural and structural practices affecting our children and has now taken up recommendations of the research to inform the formulation and implementation of appropriate and concrete measures to address challenges which may exist across all levels.

“In this regard, we are speedily attending to the amendment of the Children’s Act with regards to outlawing child marriages and providing for a second chance to education facility for girls who prematurely leave school. The amendment further seeks to provide for the criminalisation of employment of children, facilitate early family intervention, family preservation programmes as well as delivery of quality services for children, among others,” he added.

Mnangagwa also said the government was speeding up tabling of the Child Justice Bill which seeks to establish a friendly and effective justice system for children.

“I exhort government ministries and agencies to continue promoting public awareness and engagement programmes that advance the interests of children. Government stands ready to support programmes and projects to ensure that children enjoy fulfilling lives and broad opportunities,” Mnangagwa said.

He urged government ministries, departments and agencies to raise public awareness and engagement programmes for the advancement of children’s interests.

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