Machinga — As the year 2018 comes to an end, Machinga has registered an increase in child abuse cases as compared to last year, the district's police child protection office says.
Machinga Police Station child protection desk officer Ganizani Chiwaya said Thursday in Liwonde that the cases had increased from 93 last year to 101 this year, representing an 8.6 percent increase.
He was speaking during a Child Protection Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting aimed at updating stakeholders on how the fight against child abuse is being implemented in the district.
Chiwaya said cases of rape, defilement, and abduction contributed to the increase.
He, however, said indecent assault and incest cases had decreased by 44 and 200 percent, respectively.
"For the past two years, the district has not registered any sodomy case," he said.
Chiwaya, however, said about 260 children were found in conflict with the law during the year and that the majority of the suspects were boys.
"Out of the 266 children who were found in conflict with the law only 27 were female," he said.
Chiwaya said the fight against child abuse at Machinga Victim Support Unit was facing many challenges ranging from inadequate financial resources to lack of capacity of some police officers.
He, however, said the station had plans to generate income for the construction of modern and standard victim support units in all police formations in the district.
"We don't have a unit in the district that qualifies to be called a victim support unit.
"We handle cases under a tree and in an environment which is not secretive and this is contrary to the required standards," Chiwaya said.