2 mil­lion kids with no birth cer­tifi­cates, re­port re­veals

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

ABOUT 2,4 mil­lion chil­dren un­der the age of 17 years, trans­lat­ing to 39 per­cent of mi­nors in the coun­try, do not have birth cer­tifi­cates.

The sta­tis­tics are con­tained in the Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment’s Zim­babwe (2016-2018) In­terim Poverty Re­duc­tion strat­egy pa­per (I-PRSP).

The Min­istry said avail­able data shows that ru­ral ar­eas have the high­est num­ber of un­recorded births.

“Chil­dren aged be­tween 0-17 years to­talling 2,4 mil­lion had no birth cer­tifi­cates, constituting 38.9 per­cent. Ru­ral ar­eas had a higher pro­por­tion (45,7 per­cent) of chil­dren aged 0-17 years with no birth cer­tifi­cates com­pared to ur­ban ar­eas with 21,7 per­cent,” reads the doc­u­ment.

The Govern­ment for­mu­lated the I-PRSP to fo­cus on spe­cific short term mea­sures, but with long term im­pact on the liveli­hoods of the pop­u­la­tion, tar­get­ing par­tic­u­larly the vul­ner­a­ble seg­ments of so­ci­ety.

Trea­sury says the I-PRSP also seeks to pro­mote and ac­cel­er­ate in­clu­sive growth and poverty re­duc­tion through im­proved poli­cies, con­sis­tent with the ZimAs­set’s Vi­sion: ‘To­wards an Em­pow­ered So­ci­ety and a Grow­ing Econ­omy’.

The Trea­sury poverty re­duc­tion strat­egy pa­per said in 2012, the ma­jor­ity of or­phaned chil­dren in the coun­try were liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas and the fig­ure stood at 982 839 or­phans.

“The over­all or­phan­hood preva­lence was 15.7 per­cent.

“Ru­ral chil­dren were more likely to be or­phaned with an over­all or­phan­hood preva­lence of 34.4 per­cent than ur­ban chil­dren with 7.1 per­cent, suggest­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of dump­ing of or­phans in ru­ral ar­eas un­der the care of the ex­tended fam­ily,” reads the re­port.

It also notes that the abuse of chil­dren was still very preva­lent coun­try­wide.

“In 2009, it was re­ported that 13 per­cent of girls re­port be­ing sex­u­ally ha­rassed by teach­ers and or fel­low pupils, with seven per­cent of them re­port­ing hav­ing been forced into sex at least once.

“Fur­ther­more, 25 per­cent of boys liv­ing and work­ing on the streets of Harare are vic­tims of sex­ual abuse, and only eight per­cent of these boys are able to re­port that the per­pe­tra­tor had been ar­rested,” says the re­port.— @ nqot­shili.

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