made on Friday when the Children's Protection and Welfare
act of 2011 was launched over a decade since its
The law was
described by the majority of speakers at the launching in
Maseru as the highly ambitious piece of legislator with
comprehensive and a holistic approach for children's
protection and social needs.
of Law and Justice, Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs, Mrs. Mpeo Mahase-Molioa said the law replaced the
outdated children's act of 1980, which was silent on social
needs and challenges of the children rather focusing on
children on the bad side of the law.
She said the
present act is a special law that greatly differs with any
previous law ever enacted, saying that it combines numerous
laws from country level, regional and international while
maintaining the Basotho cultural values which put children's
interest at the forefront.
said the law focuses on protection of children, their needs
and their challenges which are far different from those of
children have rights to among others, education, good health
and the right to be heard before any decision affecting them
She said the
part where children's opinion are to be considered might
cause misconception to the public as the culture does not
create a room for such liberty, further indicating the need
to change attitude and to embrace shift for the benefit of
She said the
law further prohibits people including relatives from taking
advantage of orphaned children where in some cases the
property belonging to their deceased parents are taken and
in some cases children become victims of different kinds of
Mahase-Moiloa said the law further ensures that Basotho
children grow with their cultural values along with
responsibilities such as respect from family to community
ensures that children are law abiding citizens that are also
productive to their country, she added.
implementation of this law, she said, will however requires
a huge amount of funds and called to development partners to
continue with support which they provided during the
preparation of the act.
speaking was the UNICEF Representative to Lesotho, Dr Ahmed
Magan, who commended the country for launching the Children
Protection and Welfare Act, describing the move as the
milestone marking the country's commitment to children's
the act saying it is responsive to challenges brought by the
HIV and AIDS epidemic that has seen a growing number of
orphaned children, poverty and worsening economic outcomes
which have shattered the traditional social safety nets.
He said the
law also goes to the heart of UNICEF mandate of advocating
for the protection of children's rights, help them meet
their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach
their full potential.
launching of the act was held jointly with the commemoration
of the breast feeding week officiated by Her Majesty Queen 'Masenate
Source: LENA 05/08/2011