The Minister of Social Development, Mrs. Matebatso Doti has appealed to those responsible in the courts of Law to ensure that such courts are child friendly hence enable children to be free to address their issues.
Mrs. Doti said this when addressing the nation on national television (LTV) on Tuesday regarding commemoration of Day of the African Child. The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Access to Child-Friendly Justice Systems’.
She said her ministry requirement is to have independent children’s courts in all districts of the country, saying this will help in speeding up justice for children.
Moreover, Mrs. Doti said as the country is still following recommendations of the World Health Organisation during this COVID-19, children are not going to school, as a result, cases of child abuse have increased. She therefore expressed worry over the increasing cases of child abuse in the country hence urged Basotho to stop the abuse of children.
The Minister further appealed to all stakeholders in this regard to work together in protecting the rights of the children and ensuring that all cases involving children are dealt with speedily in the courts of law.
Also Speaking, the Minister of Justice, Law and Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights, Prof. Nqosa Mahao said this year’s theme encourages stakeholders to protect children.
He pledged his ministry’s continued commitment to ensure protection of children’s rights as stipulated in Child Protection and Welfare Act of 2011, adding that children need services that accommodate them and are accessible to them.
In conclusion, Prof. Mahao urged Basotho to also protect children’s rights and report incidents of child abuse and child marriage in their respective villages.
The Day of the African Child (DAC) is an annual event commemorated on 16 June in Africa, following the African Union (AU) declaration in 1991.
By Staff Reporter: Maphoka Likotsi