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ZimRights calls for rescue of Somerby children
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
September 06, 2011

ZimRights has learnt with great concern the abuse of the under aged children at Somerby settlement near Snake Park in Harare.

These are reportedly forced into marriages by their parents and guardians owing to poverty and related circumstances at the settlement. According to the Herald newspaper dated September 05 2011, at least 20 girls, aged between 10 and 15 years, have reportedly been forced into such marriages. Parents are said to have put in place measures to keep the matter under wraps despite being full aware of the law's condemnation of a marriage of children under 18 for boys and 16 for girls.

The Child Protection and Adoption Act Section 7 and 8 (under ill-treatment and exploitation of children and young persons), criminalises on the part of parents; the approval of marriages of children below the age of consent because it exposes minors to further abuse that is detrimental to their development.

ZimRights reaffirms the already existing regulatory instruments on such issues. The law must deal with the culprits accordingly. We call for urgent enforcement of those regulatory instruments as well as compliance with regional and international instruments which Zimbabwe is signatory to. The international calls include the ILO supported elimination of worst forms of child labor. There also exist other instruments that need to be honoured such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

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