Zimbabwe: Masarira Red Flags Child Rights Violations in Zimbabwe

OPPOSITION political movement, Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira has lamented the prevalence of child labour in the country's agricultural and mining sectors.

She added young girls below the age of 16 were involved in commercial sex work and others hooked on dangerous substances and drugs.

Said Masarira, "It is sad that right here in my beloved Zimbabwe we have children way below 16 who are being exploited in farms, mining settlements and domestic work.

"Children are being pimped for sexploitation and turned into beggars by some ruthless and unscrupulous people. Children and young people in Zimbabwe are in a drug and substance abuse pandemic and we are fast losing a generation."

Masarira made the observations to mark the Day of the African Child (DAC), which is commemorated yearly on 16 June.

The theme for the DAC this year was "30 Years After The Adoption of The Charter: Accelerate The Implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa Fit for Children".

The LEAD president further urged communities and political leaders to take a stand in safeguarding the future of young people.

"It takes a community to raise a child, today I make a clarion call to all Zimbabweans to be the custodians of every child in their community. To hold all elected officials to account to ensure that children are protected and that their rights are protected and upheld as enshrined in Section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."

Masarira also highlighted the exploitation of children in the DRC, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique and many other African countries.

She added; "The African child is being murdered in cold blood in Mozambique, Libya and other war-torn African countries.

"Sadly, millions of children in Africa live in abject poverty and those who get an opportunity to at least go to school have no hope whatsoever of a brighter future as the political elite do not prioritise quality education for the poor African citizens in their states."

Masarira said beyond the recognition of this day, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child should move from just an advocacy tool to an action committee that penalises all African countries that are failing to prioritise the protection and welfare of children in their states.

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