National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust has challenged learners in both primary and secondary schools in Kasungu to be vigilant in defending and safeguarding their rights against any form of violation.
Kasungu NICE District Civic Education Officer Pilirani Chaguza has also urged parents, community, religious and traditional leaders to ensure that every child grows in a safe environment that is free from harm.
Chaguza made the remarks after conducting a child rights sensitization campaign in selected schools in the district. With financial support from UNICEF, NICE, and Malawi Law Commission are jointly implementing a Legal Literacy Programme, which aims to increase awareness of gender-related violence.
During the sensitization meetings, officials from the District Education Management Office in Kasungu and District Gender Office collaborated with NICE officials in educating parents and other stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities in the protection and promotion of children’s rights.
Chaguza reminded parents and children of the five fundamental rights that children have, which include the right to health, education, family life, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living and to be protected from abuse and harm.
It is at this point that he emphasized the need to be vigilant in defending and safeguarding their rights.
“You must take the lead in reporting cases of abuse and violation of your rights to relevant authorities. We have put suggestion boxes in all to facilitate reporting of any cases of abuse without fear of reprisals,” he said.
Child Protection Worker for Nkhamenya Zone, Frank Banda, warned that the law will not spare anyone who violates the rights of children.
Some of the children who attended the sensitization campaign – Lusungu Chirwa, Felister Lungu and Foster Phiri – commended NICE for facilitating the awareness-raising initiative.
The learners said the initiative will go a long way in promoting and safeguarding their rights.