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Save The Children report exposes children’s pain

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STUDY by Save the Children has exposed extreme suffering for children in the world with Malawi ranked 149 out of 172 countries that were assessed in terms of treatment of children.

According to the study’s report, the suffering that children are exposed to threatens the future of their respective countries particularly those whose indicators paint an extremely gloomy picture.

While Malawi is not among the bottom 10 of countries where the suffering of children is worst, several aspects point to the fact that the country is still far from reaching a point where it can be said to be treating its children fairly.

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The End of Childhood Report 2017 titled ‘Stolen Childhoods’ was presented in Lilongwe on Tuesday as Malawi joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Children’s Day.

According to the report, under-five mortality rate in Malawi is at 64 per 1000 live births; child stunting (ages 0 to 59 months) is at 37.1 percent; child labour is at 39.3 percent; 23.5 percent of girls aged between 15 and 19 are either married or in unions; while 135.3 out of 1000 girls aged between 15 and 19 give birth.

Save the Children Country Director, Tina Yu, said the inequities that some marginalised children are exposed to are “very astonishing”.

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“All stakeholders must come together to help children. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure children’s suffering is minimised. In Malawi, government is doing all it can to assist children just like donors and civil society organisations, but still that is not enough.

“We can’t tell the marginalised children that we don’t have money with which to take care of them. We must mobilise resources from every sector and individual so that children enjoy their childhoods,” Yu said.

Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jean Kalilani, said the suffering of children in this country is something that everyone must consider.

“The report is talking about stolen childhood. The situation in Malawi is bad and we must all begin to think about how we can together care for children,” Kalilani said.

She added that other challenges that children face include poor health, physical and sexual abuse, malnutrition and living in streets where they are not protected.

Chairperson of the Women Caucus of Parliament, Jessie Kabwila, said the suffering that children experience in Malawi can be avoided.

She observed that Malawi now has good pieces of legislation like the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act which should be sufficiently implemented so that children are protected.

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