World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UNICEF calls Zimbabweans, speak out on child abuse

UNICEF calls on Zimbabweans to speak out against child abuse

In the wake of accusations this week that a headmaster in Zimbabwe raped six primary school pupils, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today repeated its call for communities in the country to speak out against all forms of child abuse.

“This is an utterly intolerable violation of children's rights,” said UNICEF's Representative in Zimbabwe, Festo Kavishe. “At a time when Zimbabweans are making phenomenal efforts to absorb more than 1 million orphans, there appears a small number who prey on the most vulnerable of children.”

Almost every day there are fresh reports in the local media about children being abused, sometimes at their schools, other times by family members, but mostly by trusted authority figures, Mr. Kavishe added.

Anecdotal evidence from local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and clinics around Harare show child sexual abuse is rampant. Last year alone, a local NGO recorded 4,146 cases of sexual abuse against children in its area of operation alone.

“Community leaders need to be explicit in their condemnation of such abuse," Mr. Kavishe said.

UNICEF, in partnership with government ministries and several NGOs, supports a national campaign called Zero Tolerance Against Child Abuse.

As part of the drive, UNICEF is backing training of trainers' workshops and community-based education. Participants include government officials, NGOs, journalists, police and teachers.

The children's agency is also stepping up its work with communities, seeking to further educate them to spot the signs of child abuse and to tenaciously protect their children by establishing and supporting functional child protection committees, where children themselves are represented.

“Community leaders, teachers, mums and dads – these people are the front line in the fight against child abuse,” said UNICEF's head of child protection, Jose Bergua.

“Silence on this issue shelters the perpetrators and is a crime against children,” he warned.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news