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Mw prisons housing under-5 children

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Nineteen children under the age of five are living in prisons in the country, according to Malawi Prison Service spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba.

The children are born to women who went to prison while pregnant and gave birth while serving their sentences.

The development comes at a time some human rights advocates have been appealing to prison authorities to safeguard the rights of under-five children who are being taken care of by incarcerated parents.

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The group’s leader, Memory Kachisa, urged the government to intervene in the matter.

“The government need to safeguard the welfare of these children. They need to have a normal life like everyone else and enjoy their right to, for example, education.

“We, as citizens, can also play our rightful role by ensuring that these children have basic needs every month. We can pay them visits and donate whatever we can to them,” she said.

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Meanwhile, Community Development Minister Patricia Kaliati has said the government will ensure that the children go to school while their mothers are serving their prison sentences.

“Indeed, the children are there [in prison] and we are aware of that. Our current mission is to make sure that these children attend classes outside the prison facility and then be returned to their mothers daily after school,” she said.

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