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Survey uncovers child exploitation

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Interface meetings which groups of artists held with children and the youth in Mulanje, Lilongwe, Kasungu and Mzimba have exposed different problems which children and the youth experience with most of the problems bordering on exploitation.

Among others, young girls are forced into marriage, children are trafficked out of the country where they are abused and lack of resources for their education.

Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation is implementing the Amplified Movement, a project that is aimed at increasing public awareness of key issues affecting children and the youth and developing the capacity of children and youth to hold stakeholders accountable.

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The project was launched in Lilongwe on Saturday.

And according to the artists who held the interface meetings with the children and the youths and later composed songs with messages on protecting children, a lot needs to be done to ensure these groups of people are protected.

One of the artists that took part in the Mulanje survey, Barry One, said they got information from the children themselves and other people that due to poverty, some children get lured into Mozambique where they are heavily exploited.

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“We met children who went through this experience. They went to Mozambique where for three or four years they worked in farms, undergoing serious abuse, and the most pathetic thing is that these are children as young as seven years old,” the artist said.

He added that the children were not even paid for the work they did and were given small portions of food.

“After using the children, they bring them back by simply dropping them at the border. This is after they find another group of children that should replace the one leaving,” he added.

Plan Malawi Country Director, Lilly Omondi, said the project is crucial in bringing out the voices of children so that duty bearers and other stakeholders are held accountable.

“The artists who went out in the community to talk to the children have done a great job. I am impressed with the way they have been able to bring out the stories of the children.

“I am hoping that as many people are going to watch the videos, as many people are going to listen to these songs, they are going to do something on the evils that children are going through,” said Omondi.

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