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‘Help make 8NDP more responsive to children’s needs’

COMMUNITY Development Minister Doreen Mwamba has urged the civil society and children’s rights organisations to be proactive as the Government implements the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) and help make it more responsive to the development needs and aspirations of children.

Ms Mwamba said recently during the official opening of a two-day National Children’s symposium in Lusaka, that the Government remained committed to the welfare of children.

“The symposium will reflect on the various aspects of the Eighth National Development Plan and how implementation will have a bearing on children’s rights and can be streamlined to positively respond to children’s developmental needs and aspirations,” she said.

She said the e-government was stepping up efforts to ensure a conducive and safe environment for the children to enjoy their rights through policy and legal actions.

In line with this year’s World Children’s Day theme: a better future for every child”, the Government had employed interventions whose results could only become a reality if children participated. She called on the children to take the symposium seriously and submit the outcomes of the meeting to the government for consideration.

“The Government recently enacted the child code Act to harmonise the legal framework meant to deliver children’s rights in their various forms,” Ms Mwamba said.

In a speech read for her by the ministry’s director of Finance Thomas Phiri, Ms Mwamba said, Government was confident that the Act which was signed this August was a game changer in the protection of children against abuse and exploitation.

She said the law would ensure that the children enjoyed their childhood, realise their potential and grow into productive adults.

She said the symposium which attracted children from across Zambia was an opportunity to reflect on issues challenging the children to realise their rights and bring them to the attention of the Government and other leaders for decisive life changing decisions and actions for all the children in Zambia.

Earlier, Lifeline/Childline Zambia board chairperson Hendrix Shamainda implored the children to put in their best.

He said the Government could only realise the vision of not leaving anyone behind if everyone, including the children, highlighted their needs and challenges.

In a vote of thanks, Faustina Kapumpe from Child Fund said as children they were ready to participate and make a difference in line with what was stipulated in the convention on the rights of children and the 8 NDP She said poverty, vulnerability and inequality were e a big hindrance to development.

The National youth symposium which was part of the World Child Day commemoration was sponsored by the Joining Forces Alliance, a consortium of civil society organisations and is being implemented by the National child Rights Forum.

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