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commemorates International Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse
November 22, 2005
the International Day for The Prevention of Child Abuse on Saturday,
19th of November at Rusununguko Primary School in Harare.
commemoration was running under the theme building an international
coalition for a culture of prevention or together let us create
a culture of prevention and as part of its programming for the year
CHIPAWO organized activities which included, discussions, testimonies,
poems , dance, music and theatre involving two of its centres namely
Rusununguko CHIPAWO Centre and Girl Power . CHIPAWO organised child
to child activities lead by Girl Power as well as a facilitator
Thando Makuvaza from UNICEF. The role of the facilitator was to
guide the discussions and help answer some questions on child abuse
which were beyond the scope of the leading group.
gave the children a brief background about the day, "The formation
of the day was a result of an NGO coalition which came together
in 2001 to address the increase of child abuse especially sexual
abuse by alerting Governments and civil society organizations to
play a more active role in the promotion of and respect for the
rights of the child (article 19 and 34 of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child), and contribute to the prevention of child
abuse" she said. Art. 19 states that parties shall take all
appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational
measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental
violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment
or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s),
legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child
whereas Art. 34 states that parties should undertake to protect
the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all
appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent
the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful
sexual activity, the exploitative use of children in prostitution
or other unlawful sexual practices and the exploitative use of children
in pornographic performances and
This day came
into place in synergy with the anniversary of the International
Day for the rights of the child (20 November) which has as its objective
to be a rallying point around the issue of child abuse and the need
for urgent effective prevention programs. Thando also talked about
the different types of abuse which include sexual, physical and
emotional. The children were split into three groups where they
required to come up with presentations to do with child abuse. All
the groups came up with dramas and it was not surprising to note
that their understanding of child abuse was sexual abuse towards
the girl child. We had about forty children who participated in
the events of the day.
All the children’s
presentations and questions were based on both sexual and physical
abuse. Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a universal and
alarming problem and increased attention, efficient protection skills
and prevention measures are necessary at family, local, national
and international level.
After a long
tradition of silence, sexual child abuse is being more and more
denounced and becoming a public and political topic.
Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF), over 1 million children
are pulled into the sex trade each year. Almost daily we hear of
new child abuses, and even employees of respected international
institutions have been found to be involved in sexual abuse. It
is clear that an intelligent and effective approach to this problem
consists in increasing prevention measures and protective skills,
raising public awareness and encouraging denunciation of abuse.
Basing on the
children’s presentations there’s need for communities as well as
the government to create awareness on the various forms of abuse
and the reporting channels. Girl Power is an all girls group which
uses the arts in educating other children about the issues affecting
the children but putting more emphasis on the girl child. Some of
the issues include HIV and AIDS, girl empowerment, gender and abuse.
This year’s commemoration comes in the light of an increase in rape
cases that are being reported and the children felt that there are
more cases which are not being reported either because of the fear
of victimisation and/ or lack of knowledge.
the CHIPAWO Fact
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