IT IS very disturbing that not a day passes without there being a report or more of child abuse. What kind of depravity are we living in for this to become so rampant?
What has gone wrong in our society that adults should turn children into abuse victims?
More importantly, what can the nation do to arrest the situation?
It is indeed shocking that it has now become a daily ritual to get reports of children being abused either in their homes or by the neighbours.
This is a worrying trend. It is a trend that we must all take personal and act upon.
In this regard we support Fibobe Ward Councillor Kondwani Winga in Ndola on the Copperbelt who has called on parents and guardians to take care of their children to help stop child abuse.
The parent or guardian is the first line of defence for children’s safety, hence his appeal to them to ensure children are protected all the time.
This is about protecting the young and vulnerable who are in our care. It is about having conversations with children on their welfare.
More for girl-children who have become victims of abuse at a level never seen before.
Not long ago, there was a case of a father in Luapula Province accused of defiling a newly born baby to the extent that the child died.
In another case, a three-year-old girl was defiled and cut into piece by her uncle.
Both cases speak of the moral degradation in society and how some men have reduced themselves to animals. It is no wonder that some non-governmental organisations are advocating life imprisonment as a well as castration, which may sound harsh but befitting in the current circumstances.
Councillor Winga has rightly observed that children have become more vulnerable because they are neglected and abandoned by their own parents and guardians.
“No child can bring himself or herself on earth. Behind every child, there was once or there is a father and mother. So take responsibility. It is unfair to bring children on earth if you cannot provide for them,” he says.
Mr Winga said this at the Ndola Seventh Day Adventist North Mission District Children’s Ministries ‘Stop Child Abuse Campaign’ match past in Ndola yesterday.
The councilor said the system of sending small children on the streets and markets to sell when they are supposed to be in school must come to an end because it is also another form of child abuse.
It is sad that parents and guardians should be sending minors on the streets to beg or `lend’ out their children to other vulnerable adults to help out in their begging errands.
Whatever profit they get from this is hardly justifiable. It is wrong and should be stopped.
The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, through the Child Welfare Department, should take an active interest in this and monitor the situation.
The number of children on the streets, many of who are also parents, is astounding.
One need not go far in the case of Lusaka because they are on most street corners or at traffic lights.
Motorists who do not cooperate by doling out handouts to these bold beggars or try to offer advice are verbally abused by very small boys and girls.
This is wrong. Government should take action and remove these children from the streets.
Surely there are enough care centres to accommodate the children and their children.
Parents, on the hand, should not shirk their responsibility of talking to their children about the dangers and long-term effects of abuse and why it is important to speak out.
We should not allow the children to die in silence. Let all parents tell their children to speak out.