Govt tack­les child abuse

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

SO­CIAL De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Mo­lahlehi Let­lotlo (pic­tured) says gov­ern­ment will in­ten­sify in­ves­ti­ga­tions and com­pile in­for­ma­tion on crimes against chil­dren as part of strate­gies aimed at pre­vent­ing child abuse.

Mr Let­lotlo said this at a re­cent press con­fer­ence in Maseru held in the af­ter­math of his re­cent trip to Ad­dis Ababa, Ethiopia where he at­tended the 7th In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on the African Child on the 7th and 8th of Novem­ber.

The con­fer­ence was also at­tended by African heads of state, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, re­li­gious and tra­di­tional lead­ers, chairs and mem­bers of the United Na­tions and African com­mit­tees on the rights of chil­dren as well as the academia.

It cov­ered var­i­ous is­sues of vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against chil­dren in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties, al­binism and vic­tims of re­li­gious and su­per­sti­tious be­liefs in de­mon posses­sion and witch­craft.

Mr Let­lotlo said the con­fer­ence shared ideas and strate­gies on fight­ing child abuse and vi­o­lence which of­ten tar­geted girl chil­dren.

He said the con­fer­ence came at the right time when gov­ern­ment through his min­istry was con­duct­ing na­tion­wide cam­paigns on end­ing child mar­riages and pre­vent­ing other forms of abuse.

“We are go­ing to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions and com­pile data on crimes and child abuse in Le­sotho,” Mr Let­lotlo said, adding, “We are also go­ing to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions to find out whether our cam­paigns have made pos­i­tive im­pact on Ba­sotho in the vil­lages that we have cov­ered”.

“We also have to find part­ners to col­lab­o­rate with us in con­vey­ing mes­sages on the im­pact of abuse and vi­o­lence against chil­dren and what could be done to stop the prac­tices,” he added.

Mr Let­lotlo said they met to share ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences on vi­o­lence against chil­dren as well as to broaden cam­paigns on end­ing child mar­riages on the con­ti­nent.

“Most of these crimes and abuses prac­tised on chil­dren hap­pen in se­cret places and they are not re­ported,” Mr Let­lotlo said.

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