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The Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, Mr. Kabelo Mafura says child marriage ruins the future of young girls as it denies them an opportunity to attend school.

These, Mr. Mafura said on behalf of the Minister of Education when officiating the launch of ending child marriage campaign in Maseru on Thursday, which brought together the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs and her delegation as well as children and other stakeholders.

The campaign forms part of AU mandate and is intended to create an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss issues that lead to child marriage and how it affects children as well as to make recommendations and encourage law enforcers to adopt laws that would end child marriage.

He said failure to access education lead to unemployment which contributes to poverty within families, adding that child marriage also contributes to social ills.

He said ending child marriage is one of the key pillars of the Ministry goals, noting that the Education Act of 2010 make it compulsory for every child to attend school.

He added that school books, teachers and curriculum reforms promote good practices which they believe would contribute towards ending child marriage.

Mr. Mafura further emphasised need for stakeholders who include among others, civil society, girls and UN society to ensure the attainment of objective 5.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals which indicate that child marriage should be put to an end by 2030.

Speaking at the same event, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Mrs. Amira El-Fadil said child marriage is a traditional practice in Africa and is a violation of child rights.

She added that it negatively affects countries socially and economically, highlighting need for adoption of continental, regional and national policies and strategies in order to end child marriage.

The campaign was graced by dramas and poems which echoed ending child marriage and the children's parliament session was also held.

Ending Child Marriage campaign has already been launched in 20 AU member states and Lesotho is the 21th country.

Source: LENA 26/10/2017


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