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'Zimbabwe govt stifling rights of children'

by Staff reporter
17 Jun 2021 at 05:14hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwean government is stifling the rights of children by failing to provide a conducive environment for their well-being despite provisions in the Constitution to that effect, a leading human rights organisation has noted.

This observation by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) comes as Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world yesterday to commemorate the Day of the African Child (DAC).

"As the world is grappling with the ravages of COVID-19, ZimRights notes with concern the challenges that children continue to face in Zimbabwe and Africa at large," ZimRights said in a statement yesterday.

"For the past 30 years, the lives of the majority of the children in Zimbabwe have been worsening.

"While we acknowledge the relative strides taken in improving children's health and education, ZimRights laments the Zimbabwean political, social and economic environment that is in tatters - and averse to the fulfilment of children's rights and welfare despite provisions in the Constitution.

"Zimbabwe is struggling to fulfil the aspirations that will lead to better lives for Zimbabwean children as envisioned by Agenda 2040. ZimRights calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to progressively realise these aspirations and not to wait until 2040 to ensure that the aspirations contained in the agenda are achieved."

The organisation said media reports early this year that a million students dropped out of school over the past year alone while 5 000 school girls were impregnated in January and February of 2021, made sad reading.

"As we mark the day today, 30 years after the adoption of the charter to commemorate the Day of the African Child, a Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission inquiry exposed the challenges in accessing identity documentation by millions of Zimbabwean children who are currently stateless.

"The worsening drug situation among Zimbabwean children mainly caused by the overarching challenge of widespread poverty, which was recently reported by the World Bank to be affecting half of Zimbabwean population, is a clear indictment on the government of Zimbabwe's failure to provide for a Zimbabwe fit for children."

ZimRights called upon the government to comply with the provisions of the African Charter it ratified in 1995 on the rights and welfare of the child by reducing poverty in Zimbabwe to allow children to live better lives particularly the provision of a functioning healthy delivery system and affordable quality education for all children.

The DAC, celebrated on June 16 since 1991, is in honour of thousands of black students massacred during peaceful protests over inferior education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language in Soweto, South Africa in 1976.

Source - newsday