Gender ministry geared to root out child abuse

The Ministry of gender, child and community development with funding from UNICEF is piloting case management system in five districts in the country as it gears up to progressively root out  all forms of child abuse and exploitation which are on the increase.

The five piloting districts are Mzimba, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mchinji and Zomba.

Speaking during the orientation workshop for district executive committee (DEC) members for M’Mbelwa district council on Monday, District Social welfare officer (DSWO) Mc Leod Mphande said currently case management system is currently being pre-tested in Lilongwe and Mchinji districts.

A cross-section of members of DEC for M’Mbelwa district council during the orientation workshop-pic by Towertops Kaunga

He said case management system is an established method of service delivery by which children with complex needs are assessed to relevant institutions for redress and rehabilitation to ensure optimal growth, care and protection.

He said the ministry has noted that despite efforts by government and other stakeholders in fighting child abuse cases, children continue to suffer from child abuse, exploitation and neglect cases.

Mphande said these efforts have further been hampered by a lack of well coordinated efforts among stakeholders in the child protection sector as there is no proper documentation of cases, referral and rehabilitation services for abused and victimized children.

“Although various organizations are implementing child protection activities, there is a lack of proper coordination among these players hence failing to successfully root out these child abuse cases.

“The case management system therefore seek to harmonize the working relationship among child protection stakeholders so that there is proper documentation, referral and information sharing on how best to loot out child abuse cases,” said Mphande.

He therefore urged members of the DEC and especially those in the child protection sector to pull together their resources and expertise in curbing defilement, early marriages and child labour cases which are very rampant in the district.

Mzimba District Coordinator for EveryChild Malawi, Thomas Moyo said the case management system will help child protection players to make appropriate actions in following up on cases and ensuring that the victimized children access justice.

He therefore called for commitment from all child protection stakeholders in ensuring improved coordination and sharing of best practices, which he said would be critical for them to successfully root out child abuse cases.

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