MATSAPHA – Violence against children has become one of the biggest challenges faced by the country.
This has prompted UNICEF and Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) to reaffirm their commitment in strengthening systems that protect children. Children in the country experience all forms of abuse, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse resulting in serious consequences and in the process damaging their health and development.
Early this week, this newspaper reported on a case of two children who were stabbed by their father’s rival around Matsapha.
Making his speech during the Day of Prayer and Action for Children on Wednesday at Esibayeni Lodge, Deputy Prime Minister Paul Dlamini said a study has confirmed that violence against children especially female was highly prevalent. “The violence often occurs in places that should provide safety such as home and school and lately some sporadic cases from the church environment,” he said.
The DPM said it was encouraging to note that Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) have shown commitment to child protection.
He applauded UNICEF for the support they have been rendering towards supporting initiatives by FBOs.
UNICEF Deputy Representative Muriel Mafico said they have been working with religious groups to advocate for children on a wide variety of issues including education, health, HIV/AIDs awareness, violence and abuse issues.
Mafico said as Swaziland joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2013 World Day of Prayer; she was pleased to note that for the past three years FBOs have continued to take action and deliver programmes for children in their various constituencies. “Our partnership has grown as reflected by the wide range of partners,” she said.