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Child abuse on the rise in Blantyre

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Cases of child abuse continue to rise in Blantyre, with sexual abuse topping the list.

Statistics at the district’s social welfare office shows that at least 30 cases are recorded every month.

But Blantyre District Social Welfare Officer, Trophina Limbani, said it is only through concerted efforts that Malawians can safeguard children’s rights.

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She made the remarks on Friday during commemorations marking International Day of the African Child held in Blantyre.

She said 90 percent of children who are abused are girls.

“At Blantyre District Office, we record at least 15 cases per month and including cases recorded at one stop centre, we have at least 30 cases in a month. So, we are talking about 90 cases in a quarter, 180 cases in half a year which is such a huge number,” she said.

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The office provides psychosocial support to children who are sexually abused.

“We also provide counselling to survivors of sexual abuse,” she said.

According to officials, the majority of children who are prone to various forms of abuse are those who beg in the streets.

Chairperson of Blantyre District Council, Councillor Tawanda Tambula, said children who beg in the streets are taken to homes such as Chisomo Children’s Home and Steka to ensure their safety.

Southern Region Police Commissioner, Demster Chigwenembe, who graced the ceremony, said they will step up efforts in enforcing the Child Protection Act and other laws.

“The Constitution empowers the police to protect life and property, this includes the children,” he said.

International Day of the African Child takes place on June 16 every year.

The Day was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union, and has been celebrated since 1991.

It honours children who participated in the Soweto Uprising in South Africa in 1976.

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