Child defilement cases have been on the rise in recent years. The Zambia Police Service reported that in the second quarter of 2021, 576 children were defiled. That number increased by 10% from that reported in the first quarter of the same year. Children have also fallen victim to Gender-Based Violence (GBV). As of February 2022, 1,814 children were abused countrywide, representing 22.9% of all the victims of GBV reported. Girl children were the most affected with GBV, accounting for 1,3422 (74%) cases compared to boys at 472 (26%) cases. It should be noted that the reported cases are just a fraction of the many incidences that remain unreported.
World Vision complements the Zambian Government's efforts to realise a nation where children are protected and free from all forms of violence. In 2017, World Vision launched the global "It Takes a World to End Violence Against Children" campaign, which World Vision's Zambia Office domesticated as the "Ending Child Marriage" campaign. Through the campaign, World Vision creates platforms for children activists to engage government leaders, including faith and traditional leaders, in debates on measures to protect children from violence. In 2021 alone, World Vision reached 75,688 people, including children, with messages on ending child marriage through community engagements and awareness programmes.
Ongoing interventions to end violence against children are commendable and continue to raise awareness of the urgent need to prevent further violence targeted at children. Nevertheless, more needs to be done to eradicate child violations such as sexual violence, child labour, and corporal punishment that continue to threaten the protection and rights of children.
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