The Children sector is concerned with the rights and definition of a child. It is facing the following main issues in order so safeguard a child friendly environment for growing up:
The global recession has affected all nations and in particular the developing countries that are in need of much assistance. Especially children are threatened by this poverty which is linked to a number of negative phenomena such as child labour, early marriages, prostitution and child trafficking.
Inadequate Education System
Vulnerable children continue to be denied their right to education through an inadequate allocation of resources towards the education sector. Access to schools is indeed a condition for the empowerment of children – but if this is denied, then these children will be vulnerable to various forms of abuse.
HIV and AIDS
The HIV and AIDS pandemic has resulted in the loss of parents, guardians and breadwinners for many children. This has brought to light another concern of inheritance rights which have often been violated and unreported due to ignorance and lack of knowledge. Also children are vulnerable to discrimination when both infected or affected by the virus, thus having a negative effect on their well-being in general.
As much as technology has enhanced exposure and national development, it also entails a risk for the well-being of children: With smart phones and internet access all over the places, children are able to access pornographic material prematurely resulting in sexual experimentation. This has resulted at times in teenage pregnancy due to premature sexual activity or cases of sexual abuse amongst children themselves
Traditional, Cultural and Religious Practices
Despite the overall modernisation of the Zimbabwean society, traditional cultural and religious practices especially in some rural areas are still affecting the well-being of children: Those fall prey to impositions made by their elders such as child marriages. Some communities also tend to violate or deny children rights like the right to health care or the right to education particularly for girls.
The Breakdown of Societal Safety Nets and Values
Gone are the days when it was taken for granted that an orphan would be cared for by the extended family. Even when parents are alive but separated, there are children being abandoned. Child headed households are mushrooming throughout communities showing that neglect has become a result of the breakdown of societal safety nets and values. Further outgrowths of these “broken homes” are domestic violence, different forms of child abuse and what is also termed the “step-parent syndrome”
A new and strange phenomenon has also posed a threat on the safety of children and that is Satanism. Cases of rituals, slaughters and general abusive practises have been reported of late linked with this form of religion, for instance children who have had blood sucked from them regularly by minders entrusted with their care. What makes this so difficult to curb, is the limited understanding and knowledge of how and where the phenomena occurs.
Henceforth the need for intense advocacy has become pivotal in protecting children. There is need to expose and enlighten people vigilantly on the issues around children. Interventions are pivotal in saving the life and wellbeing of a child out there in desperate need so as to preserve the future of tomorrow.