Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms. Doreen Mwamba is optimistic that protection and promotion of children’s rights in the country will be enhanced, following the enactment of the Children’s Code Act.
Speaking during the 2023 ceremonial opening of the Lusaka High Court Criminal Sessions,under the theme “Enhanced Aceess to Justice for Children” Ms. Mwamba said operational challenges relating to wellbeing of children will be effectively addressed as a result of such a huge development.
She observed further that challenges that existed around several statutes which were enacted in the 1950’s that provided regulation and guidance on the children’s issues in Zambia will be a thing of the past.
She said those outdated laws did not conform to the current trends and were not in harmony with related statutes at regional and international levels.
“It was imperative that these statutes be revised and harmonized in order ensure conformity and codification into one updated act” Ms. Mwamba said.
She said government, recognizes that Children are the most valuable members of society and are a great asset for a peaceful, just, inclusive and prosperous world today and tomorrow.
Ms. Mwamba explained that many perpetrators of child sexual abuse especially defilements have gone unpunished due to lack of child friendly procedures receiving evidence from child victims and witnesses.
And Chief Justice, Mumba Malila has described the Children’s Code Act, as a huge milestone in the legal governance of children, as it comprehensively offer provisions for both civil and criminal justice for children.
Justice Malila therefore observed that this has to be factored into the judicial reforms, realignment and changes currently under way, to give effect to the act and pledged to operationalize it.
Justice Malila said the increasing number of neglected children, which is a reminder of the problem that faces the children’s legal system is another important reason why the Children’s Code Act requires everyone’s support.
He said legal and administrative changes will prioritize the implementation of the act, but also called for attitude and mindset change from all stakeholders, adding that the judiciary is studying all the provisions of the act to identify problematic areas that cause disharmony in the effective implementation process.