The Social Welfare Office in Nkhata Bay has recorded 230 child sexual abuse cases in the district over the past six months.
This was disclosed at a two day training workshop for child protection officers from various institutions including the police and the social welfare office in the district.
According to the Social Welfare officer for Nkhata Bay Lickson Ng’ambi, a total of 230 child sexual abuse cases have been registered from June to November this year.
Nkhata Bay District Commissioner Rodney Simwaka who presided over the opening ceremony of the workshop said despite the country’s commitment to various declarations on the protection of children’s rights, there is still a need for serious commitment on the issue.
“We have huge challenges like early marriages and rape which are just so high in the district hence a need for these child protection officers to be equipped with various skills and knowledge so as to curb the malpractices,” Simwaka said.
In her remarks, executive director for Girl Empowerment Network Malawi (GENET) Faith Phiri said her organisation decided to empower children mainly the girl-child so that they should be able to safeguard their rights.
“We need a system that is robust, a network that is able to assist the girls to achieve their goals without facing obstacles like the way it is in many districts of the country,” Phiri emphasised.
GENET is implementing this program which is being jointly implemented with other partners like Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) and Save the Children Malawi with funding from the Dutch Government.