National President for the Children Forum Network, Marfoh Mariam Kornya Samai, has called on government and other stakeholders to do more in protecting the rights of children across the country.
She made the call last Thursday at the Ministry of Social Welfare Conference Hall in Freetown during an exclusive interview with Concord Times.
She said on November 20th, they joined the rest of the world to celebrate the Universal Children's Day.
She said the goal of the celebration was to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children's rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children.
She said they as children in Sierra Leone did not only celebrated the day but also partnered with Save the Children to do a 9-day media outreach program to address their colleagues across the country, government officials and other stakeholders on issues affecting children.
She said the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is covering the rights of every child in Sierra Leone, including their rights to education, safety, protection and health.
She said recently UNICEF and Statistics Sierra Leone launched a report called Multi-Dimensional Child Poverty in Sierra Leone, stating that the rate of poverty among children in that report was disheartening.
She called on government and other stakeholders to take a stand make sure that children are been taken away from poverty as indicated in the report and ensure that they are assured of their wellbeing as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child.
She said government cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goal and end poverty by the year 2030 when children are still suffering in the country.
She said the country has gone a long way with some aspects in the implementation of the UNCC, noting that from the end of the 11 years civil war to date children now are given the opportunity to speak up for their rights in the country and other issues affecting them.
She said the introduction of the free quality education by the current government was also a great step that compliments the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
She further that more is needed to be done in terms of safety and protection of children and that they are still seeing the increasing figure of children being raped, entered into early marriage with many selling on the streets.
The multi-dimensional child poverty in Sierra Leone stated that more than 80% of children are poor in Koinadugu, Pujehun, Moyamba, Bonthe and Tonkolili.
The report also stated that children living in rural areas are more affected by child poverty than those living in urban areas, and that the proportion of poor children significantly declined by about 24 percentage points in urban areas between 2010 and 2017, while child poverty slightly increased in rural areas from 85 percent to 87 per cent.