CHILDREN’S PARLIAMENT 2022
By Beatrice Mumba
ON MONDAY, 18th July, 2022, the National Children’s Parliament was held under the theme ” Economic recovery for children’s prosperity ” at the Lusaka City council Chambers on Independence Avenue.
During the Parliament Session coordinated by the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), the participating Children, representing ten provinces; Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern, North-Western, Southern and Western deliberated on effects as individuals and a body corporate, including giving out reasons as to why the Children’s Code Bill must be enacted into law.
Mundia Lubinda, one of the children that participated noted that the Zambian Marriage Act, which states that a child can get married at the age of 16 , for as long as their parents consent to it is worth distancing ourselves.
Some children are married off by their parents because of poverty, for example in kanyama a child is married off because the parents are unable to take the child to school. By the time of marring off their child, is hope that they child will have a better life when married which is not supposed to be the case.
She said that some parents marry off their children due to ignorance this is why the government and other civil society organizations should educate parents on the importance of educating they children because they’re they leaders of tomorrow.
Mary Chanda a 19- -year-old from Kasama, a participant at this year’s Children Parliament had a story to share.
Mary and her friends walk a very long distance just to go to and from school , therefore for safety.
“If a girl-child-has had her parents stop her from going to school due to the number of cases for child defilement, it is imperative for social sectors to provide support,” Panelists heard her story as a Grade 6.
As she believes that if the bill is enacted her and every child; community will have offer good education).
not the only one who has passed through such a situation as many girls don’t even complete their education because by the time they’re reaching grade 7 they would have been ” junior mothers” hence they end up being married. Those that are lazy going to school even get married early.
At the end of it all the children wrote a submission on what the Children’s Code Bill must contain and what is expected of the government.
The children gave out reasons why the bill must be enacted; pointing out that for now, the Children’s Code Bill, will be protected from all forms of violence and abuse such as that the evil practice of child marriages.
The bill must specifically include how to treat the children who are in need of special care when in conflict with the law.
‘Safety issues for children born in prison, protecting children in refuge camps, must be vigorously pursued, domesticating the provision of the Conversation on the Rights of Children (CRC) into local laws in Zambia.