By Chengeto Chidi
Young people have implored the government to raise awareness on children’s rights to ensure they are upheld.
Students, junior parliamentarians and councillors last Thursday commemorated the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the Swedish Embassy under the theme Our Rights – Our Views.
The event served as a platform to discuss how children’s rights are infringed upon and how they can be protected.
Legacy Resources Foundation chairperson Murray McCartney commended efforts by Zimbabwean policymakers in introducing Bills and policies meant to protect children’s rights.
“As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the progress we have made in regard to implementation of the CRC through promotion of rights as Zimbabwe domesticated the visions of the CRC,” McCartney said.
“Zimbabwe as an active legislation aimed at protecting children’s rights passed the Marriage Bill, Domestic Violence Act, Criminal Law and Codification Reforms and other several bills in the pipeline.”
McCartney expressed his disappointment at government’s failure to implement the policies, leading to violation of children’s rights.
“Although we have these policies on paper, there is still no implementation of these policies,” he said.
McCartney said the number of children,
who are malnourished has increased, owing to economic challenges.
“50% of children were suffering from malnutrition a few years back and with the current economic situation the numbers may have increased.”
The children, who took part in the dialogue urged the government to educate citizens on children’s rights.
Children shared first-hand experiences on how they are affected by the lack of protection of their rights and implementation of laws governing such.
They said the government should resolve the impasse with teachers as it was infringing on their right to education.
“We urge the government to increase the teachers’ salaries because the teachers are no longer coming to classes and not teaching saying they are not getting paid enough,” a pupil from Mufakose said.
Photojournalist Tafadzwa Ufumeli’s photo exhibition on children’s rights was officially unveiled at the event. Drawings and paintings by children from Westridge Primary School were also on display.