Chitungwiza Community Development Network joins the rest of Africa in commemorating the Day of the African Child. This year the commemorations are being held under the theme “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity”.
At the national and international level Zimbabwe has shown its commitment to child rights. Yet, much progress is still needed to overcome challenges faced by children in different parts of Zimbabwe.
Children in Zimbabwe continue to be affected by poverty and hunger due to economic hardships prevailing in the country. Millions of children in Zimbabwe lack access to good health care services because of the privatisation.
Economic hardship and the high rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe has forced hundreds of children out of school as parents lack the financial capacity to pay the tuition fees needed for their children’s education. Denying girls their rights to education increases their vulnerabilities and exacerbates gender inequality.
Poor social service delivery in Zimbabwe is a major hindrance in the lives of children as girls spend most of their time fetching water for the families. Girls continue to be vulnerable in all spheres of life as they remain victims of all forms of abuse and child marriage.
Zimbabwe as a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals and is working towards the implementation of all the 17 SDGs Goals but focusing and prioritising on 10 of the goals.
A number of the SDGs are vital in improving the lives of children and in promoting children’s rights.
SDG 4 is critical in ensuring all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education and also deliberate on the elimination of gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education for the vulnerable including children with disabilities and other vulnerable situations.
SDG 5 is vital in ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, elimination of all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres and also elimination of all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
SDG 6 deliberate on achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
CCDN takes this opportunity to urge the government to strengthen its capacity and implementation of laws and policies on children’s rights. The government should strengthen its financial capacity to provide all children the necessary health and education services.
CCDN recommend the Civil Society Organisations and other necessary stakeholders to continue working on child protection and upholding children’s rights and freedoms.