By Staff Reporter
UN Resident Coordinator Maria Ribiero says challenges being faced by Zimbabwe on child protection, particularly that of the girl child, were not different from those experienced in other countries throughout the world.
Speaking at the launch of Plan International Zimbabwe’s Country Strategy 2020-2024, in Harare Thursday, Ribiero said violence against children remains a challenge in Zimbabwe.
In 2018, Childline received a total of 25 000 cases (15 000 through the helpline and 10 000 through drop in),” Ribiero said.
“Of these cases, 66% were on protection while 34% were on welfare (Childline 2018 Annual Report).
“Sexual abuse accounted for 26%, physical abuse 20%, neglect 17%, emotional abuse 17% and 20% other forms of abuse.
“These are the realities that we are all facing here in Zimbabwe, yet, there is hope because the world has committed to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Ribeiro said MDGs could not be realised if the situation facing the girl child and youths in general were not addressed as the young in many countries made up nearly 60 percent of populations in world countries.
Ribiero added, “These challenges call for interaction, strong partnerships and innovative solutions.”
She went to say that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been given renewed vigour with the launch of the ‘Decade of Action on SDGs’.
“Let us make the next 10 years a decisive decade for Zimbabwe, for Africa, and for the world, and most of all, for young girls and young boys so that they can be empowered adults.
“So, let us be ambitious, let us mobilise everybody, and let us find good, innovative solutions to today’s problems.”
“Let me also reiterate to Plan International our support and our appreciation not just to the work that you are doing here in Zimbabwe and in other countries, but our appreciation of the partnership, which has always existed between your organisation and various UN agencies.
“The United Nations Development System and relevant UN Agencies will continue to partner with Plan International and other partners to deliver for children and particularly for girls.”