PERMANENT Secretary for Constitution and Legal Affairs Ministry, Prof Sifuni Mchome, has called on police and prisons forces to ensure children rights are protected.
According to a press statement released by the Communication Unit of the Constitution and Legal Affairs Ministry, Prof Mchome said the forces should ensure the interests of children and their rights are protected in accordance to the Child Act, 2009.
“IT is my call to you when dealing with child cases, to ensure that the child gets legal support,” read part of the statement quoting the Permanent Secretary while opening a four-day training workshop on legal support to children in Mbeya.
Prof Mchome informed that the government in conjunction with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other stakeholders continues to place child’s rights and interests as its top priority.
He pointed out the steps undertaken by the government to improve the criminal justice system include amendment of the law and mediation system in order to address congestion in prisons and backlog of cases in court.
“Participants receiving training today should be good ambassadors to show good examples and apply the approaches introduced by the government to improve the criminal justice system in the country,” Prof Mchome observed.
He used the occasion to express gratitude to UNICEF for the initiative to support children in the country, noting that the government is committed to address challenges facing children in the country.
Prof Mchome said the government in collaboration with UNICEF and other children’s rights stakeholders plan to unveil the Child’s Rights Strategy, saying the Strategy is geared towards bringing together children’s rights stakeholders.
“One of the main stakeholders in the Strategic plan includes police and prisons, whose main responsibility is to protect the child’s rights. The Strategic plan targets all children who are victims of Gender Based Violence,” he said.
Prof Mchome said the Child’s Rights Strategic Plan would be a great platform to bring together children to air their views and complaints, urging all stakeholders to join hands with the government to protect children.