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As part of the efforts to strengthen campaigns against Child Marriage, Princess Senate Seeiso has been appointed the Champion of Child Marriage.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Social Development, Mrs. 'Matebatso Doti in interview on Thursday where she said in line with objective 5.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals which stipulates that child marriage should be put to an end by 2030, Lesotho as the member of African Union (AU) launched its campaigns in October last year.

She said after the launch it is then that they advised themselves to appoint the Princess to be the Champion, saying this will help them to pass the message well and that they found it fitting for the Princess to be the champion as she is the same age as those children who are engaged in child marriage.

She noted that since the Princess is still in school, she will be the best motivator as the children would see the importance of going to school instead of getting married.

Mrs. Doti said during winter holidays, Princess Senate will engage in a series of rallies country-wide where she will be addressing boys and girls against child marriage, noting that she will also take part in Children's Parliament.

The Minister highlighted that Child Marriage is on the rise in Lesotho, saying it has now gone from 19 percent to 24 percent, saying this needs concerted efforts from all members of the society.

She therefore urged all to support the initiative and ensure that child marriage becomes history in the country, emphasising that all should advocate for education of girl children instead.

Meanwhile, the Government of Lesotho has demonstrated its commitment to protecting vulnerable children and families through various legislation, policies, strategies, programmes and structures that promote children's wellbeing and these include Education Act 2010, Children's Protection and Welfare Act 2011, National Multisectoral Child Protection Strategy 2014/2019, National Social Development Policy and Strategy 2014, Foster Care and Adoption Policy for Lesotho 2012 among others.

Ending Child Marriage campaign forms part of the African Union (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.

Source: LENA 01/03/2018


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