DESPITE Malawi clocking 30 years of entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has said the nation is still facing challenges that are hindering the enjoyment of rights by people.
The country on Friday joined the rest of Africa in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the charter.
Speaking when presenting his ministerial statement of the day on Friday in Lilongwe, Tembenu said persons with albinism continue to face challenges and that there is rampant increase in early child marriages.
“While the Marriage Divorce and Relations Act stipulates that the age of marriage is 18 years, we still have early marriages at custom. We also continue to face challenges in protecting our children from exploitation. The recent scourge has been child trafficking,” he said.
According to the Justice Minister, the country has also made some achievements in the advancement of human rights, citing an example of a number of laws that have been enacted such as the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 2006, the Child Care Protection and Justice Act of 2010 and the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2015.
Commenting on the matter, chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Consultative Committee, Robert Mkwezalamba, said although progress has been made in creating an enabling environment, what remains a challenge is the full realisation of such rights.
“Inadequate support to institutions of justice that guarantee and enforce these rights such as the Malawi Human Rights Commission and the AntiCorruption Bureau affects human rights enjoyment. We will break these barriers in future if only we can work together,” he said.