UN optional protocol to the convention on the rights of the child adopted

UN optional protocol to the convention on the rights of the child adopted

By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

THE Second Republic under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made significant strides in promoting, protecting, and respecting the rights of children through the enactment of child-friendly laws.

The Initial Report of the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child was approved by cabinet this Tuesday.

The report checks on the progress made and measures undertaken in reviewing various pieces of legislation and policies to strengthen child protection laws.

Zimbabwe has excelled in that regard as evidenced by the legislation which has been enacted in the past few years.

“Cabinet reports that the state party continues on a positive note in the domestication and effective implementation of obligations under the optional protocol in particular article three.

“Some of the laws and policies that support the protocol in Zimbabwe include; the criminal law (codification and reform) Act (chapter 9:23) which criminalises the permission of children to resort places for purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct, the facilitation of children into prostitution and the pledging of females under the age of 18 years for compensation by any lawful custodian or relatives.

“The children’s bill provides for the protection of children in the country and establishes structures that operate to ensure children are protected from all forms of harm and abuse. Trafficking in persons (chapter 9:25) criminalises Trafficking in persons and this includes children. Marriages act 2019 which prohibits child Marriages, pledging of children in marriage, sexual exploitation, and harmful cultural practices,” said Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

Some of the child-friendly laws enacted include the Marriages Act, which prohibits early marriages, setting the minimum age for marriage at 18 in line with the constitution as well as regional and international obligations.