President Samia stresses child protection

President Samia stresses child protection

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has emphasised the importance of accelerating child protection, empowerment, and equal opportunities.

The Head of State said through her official Twitter account @SuluhuSamia, that the government will continue with its efforts to protect every child’s rights.

“On this Day of the African Child (DAC), I wish all the best to every child in Africa. Let’s continue implementing the Agenda 2040 for African children,” read part of her tweet.

DAC is celebrated every year on June 16 and is a time for the world to reflect on the progress made towards chil￾dren’s rights, as well as the barriers they continue to face.

The theme for the DAC 2022 is ‘Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013’. Last month, President Samia tasked human rights. defenders to advocate for the rights of other marginalised groups including children.

She asserted that children’s rights are being violated, but activists do not speak up louder as they do to protect politicians.

Ms Samia also assured hu￾man rights activists that her government was ready to work with them in advocating for the rights of the various group in the country.

Speaking during the climax of the African Child Day at the Nyerere Square in Dodoma yesterday, Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Dr Dorothy Gwajima underscored the need for children protection and rights dispensation.

She said it is high time for the public to ensure that children are protected against violence and that everyone must keep close monitoring of their welfare, so that they are not exposed to acts, which will result into physical and psychological torture.

The minister also urged parents and guardians to guide and protect children from excessive use of the electronic gadgets, includ￾ing mobile phones and televisions, as they risk to be exposed to online pornography, online bullying and violence.

Minister Gwajima also condemned child labour, insisting that children must be protected and empowered to reach their full potential.

“Children should have the right to an education and the opportunity to enjoy the simple joys of childhood,” she said, while insisting that the government will continue working with international partners and stakeholders on legislation to help combat forced and child labour in the country supply chains. In their message to celebrate the Day, Plan International Tanzania says as the community reflects on progress made since 2013, they must ensure strong legal and justice systems are in place to help protect children, especially girls and take decisive action against perpetrators of vio￾lence against children.

Tanzania Media for Community Development (TAMCODE) urged parents and family members to take good care of their children and protect them against sexual abuse in all forms, including child marriage as the vice also contributes to early and unintended pregnancies.

TAMCODE Executive Director Rose Mwalongo stated that seeing one’s children thrive and become decent human beings is the pride of every nation and family.

She said the current trend, however, leaves a lot to be desired, as incidences of sexual assault against children appear to be increasing by the day, with children feeling insecure even with their own family members, let alone close relatives and maids.

According to the 2021 Tanzania Human Rights Report by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), 89 per cent of in￾cidents of violence against children reported by the media for the reported year were sexual violence against them.

Sema Tanzania, another local Non Governmen￾tal Organisation has also emphasised child protection as an issue that needs to be a national priority not just that of stakeholders invested in the matter. “It’s time to band together, calibrate resources and prioritise the welfare of the coming gen￾erations,” read part of the tweet. .

In 2016, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) established a 25-year Agen￾da namely, Agenda 2040: Fostering an Africa fit for children.

The main objective of the Agenda is to restore the dignity of the African child by assessing the achievements and challenges faced towards the effective implementation of the African Children’s Charter.

The Agenda, by further elaborating on Para￾graph 53 of Agenda 2063, intends to establish longterm strategies that will contribute toward sustaining and protecting children’s rights in Africa.

The overall target is to expand significant goals and priority areas to which the respective Member states and the African Union commit for the upcoming 25 years.

Author: Alvar Mwakyusa

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