Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

6 June 2014

Malawi: Plan Malawi Says It Will Bite Hard On Child Rights Violators

Lilongwe — PLAN Malawi a human rights international organisation has sharpened its teeth to bite hard stubborn people who are continuing violating children rights, despite all popular awareness and campaigns by various human rights organisations.

Plan Malawi Principal Research Officer Sipho Jale told Malawi News Agency in an interview recently in Lilongwe.

The organisation alongside working partners unveiled the ills of human rights abuse especially among the children with disabilities and the vulnerable at a meeting held Cross roads Hotel.

It transpired during the gathering that children with disabilities are suffering through being given demoralising names at schools, raped, lacking parental care and love compared to the normal children, saying they were painfully being denied freedom to marriage when time is due. Therefore Jale told the working partners to ensure child rights are prioritised by lobbying for stiffer punishments to abusers to deter would be offenders.

"We have a solid vision to have a nation where a child can live among the people who respects their rights and dignity, starting from the remote areas where there is a lot of silent and unreported suffering without action, " articulated Jale.

Now, Plan Malawi is implementing this project in Traditional Authority Chimutu and Njewa in Lilongwe. Districts of Mzimba, Kasungu and Mulanje are also the beneficiaries of the project.

Human Rights Advisor Peter Sindodo said child rights abuse is growing rampantly in local areas due to lack of information on both the rights holders and rights protectors.

"The meaninglessness is coming because both the children and the parents who are the rights holders and protectors are ignorant of some important information to do with human being's dignity we must abolish some cultures which are pioneering the abuse, " said Sindodo.

Sindodo further added that Plan Malawi is working at reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence and early pregnancies among young girls which is pitifully increasing death among the disabled.

The outcomes of research that Plan Malawi charged vindicates that suffering and abuse is worse in the remote areas than urban areas, saying shame and lack of friendly services to children has worsened the situation.

Principal at Likuni Hospital, Sister Agness Lungu said, "So far we have already provided special friendly services to the children to learn more from their problems. I must appeal to the parents to be cordial when counselling them.

However, Akafula Support organisation ASO, also lamented that its members were being tortured in various ways at all levels of society ranging from employment, marriage this is an indicator that they need special attention too.

"We need to voice our concerns that at school, in the labour industry, loan giving institutions there is a lot of bias, torture to us abatwa ..., " said Rodwell Kamenya.

ASO further said being Mwandiwonerapati is not disability therefore needs equal rights and resource sharing as they equally contribute to national development. They further rebuked women who dump their children when they discover it is a Batwa.

Commenting on the issue, Humane Consortium Nature for Mankind (HCNM) Human Rights Advocator Rodgers Pondani said local leaders are lacking human rights skills and therefore they are indirectly and ignorantly promoting rights abuse.

"We at HCNM have a project in the offing to train and impart full knowledge of human rights issues to our local leaders.

But the problem remains lack of finances, we work on self help basis, hence delaying implementation of our programme aiming civic educating the chiefs...,"said Pondani.

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