UN Fears For Zim Children As Situation Worsens

The United Nations (UN) says the deplorable socio-economic conditions in Zimbabwe continue to pose a danger to children who have turned to social ills for survival.

Speaking at the 30th High-Level Commemoration Forum on the Convention on the Rights of the Child  UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Ribeiro said although the government has done considerably well to promote and uphold children’s rights in accordance with globally accepted standards, children are still exposed to violence and harmful practices.

“I am happy to note that Zimbabwe has also ratified key conventions and instruments that aim to advance the rights of children including The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (May 2013); and the ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999).

“However, poverty and the current socio-economic challenges facing the country are disproportionately impacting the girls and boys of Zimbabwe; in access to food and nutrition, health and education as well as ensuring the protection of children against violence and harmful practices,” she noted.

This comes days after the UN issued worrying warnings that Zimbabwe faces massive starvation and more than two million children are at risk of hunger if the situation is not expedited.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Form issued a report which revealed that at least 51 children were arrested and tortured by state security agents during the January crackdown that followed the nationwide protests of 14-16 January 2019.

Among those arrested, detained and tried after the January 2019 protests were children aged between nine and 17 years. The children were brought before the courts facing public violence charges.

However, Chief Director in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Major-General Evaristo Dzihwema said the government is committed to promoting the respect, realisation and promotion of children’s rights.

“This commemoration is intended to add impetus to the implementation of the national laws, policies and action plans that address issues on children’s rights such as education, prevention and early detection of child abuse, and reporting of abuse offences,” he said.

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