Human Rights Webinar in Zambia
Legislate Peace Workshop
– Enhancing awareness of Children’s Rights in Zambia
Date and Time: Saturday, February 11th, 2023, 14:00-15:30 (Time in Zambia)
Location: Online (Zoom)
Topics: Legislate Peace Workshop
– Enhancing awareness of Children’s Rights in Zambia
Host: HWPL Western Seoul & Gyeonggi Branch
Hon. Andrew Tayengwa,
Member of Parliament in Kabwata Constituency
Hon. Emmanuel Jay Banda,
Member of Parliament in Petauke Central constituency
Hon. Twaambo Elvis Mutinta,
Member of Parliament in Itezhi-Tezhi Constituency
This report covers the 2023 Children’s Rights Workshop in Zambia, hosted by HWPL and IPYG, aimed at enhancing awareness of children’s rights. The report includes key highlights, speakers’ insights, and future plans for promoting children’s rights in Zambia.
” What is this role of youth enhancing awareness on child rights?
You have the responsibility to not only raise awareness of child rights
but also to be the number one defender of child rights.
They also have to be involved in issues of policy and governance
and that aspires to rise to a position of influence in society
in order for them to be the voice of others who cannot even speak.
They also have to be whistleblowers on the violation of rights of our children.”
– Hon. Andrew Tayengwa, Member of Parliament in Kabwata Constituency
The “Legislate Peace Workshop” was an online event hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) on February 11, 2023, to promote the importance of the Children’s Code Act to Zambian civil society. Over 60 people, including two Members of Parliament, school teachers, and youth organization leaders, attended the event.
The event was divided into two parts. In Part 1, Hon. Twaambo Elvis Mutinta, Member of Parliament in Itezhi-Tezhi Constituency provided education on enhancing awareness of Children’s rights in the topics of ‘What is human rights, the meaning of the Children’s Code Act, etc.’. In Part 2, the peace education department of HWPL introduced youth activity content education which was consisted of the values of diversity and understanding, recognition and coexistence in HWPL peace textbook lesson 1, my value in peace textbook lesson 2, consideration for others in lesson 6, and respect in lesson 9.
February 28, 2022, the president of Zambia, HAKAINDE HICHILEMA, stated that the rising cases of child marriages, teenage pregnancies, and gender-based violence should be prioritized to realize development in Zambia. He also raised the alarm about the reality of Zambia’s children’s rights by saying, “Such vices have stifled efforts to empower citizens as many girls and boys miss out on access to education and health, thereby perpetuating the poverty cycle among the victims.” In this era, Zambia’s government and HWPL are not just longing for growth in children’s rights but are playing their part in their respective positions.
Points of discussion
Q. How can we work together to ensure that the rights of children are respected and upheld, given the fact that despite many initiatives and programs aimed at promoting their rights, they are still being violated on a daily basis?
Answer from Hon. Emmanuel Jay Banda, Member of Parliament in Petauke Central constituency
– To ensure that children’s rights to education, good health, and protection are respected, stakeholders such as parents, traditional leaders, and church leaders need to be sensitized and educated on these rights. By engaging and educating these stakeholders, through workshops and discussions, we can work together to protect the rights of every child in Zambia and encourage other countries to follow our example.
Q. What actions are being taken and what more can be done by the government, civil society, and other stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of children’s rights among all members of society, especially those living in rural areas?
Answer from Hon. Andrew Tayengwa, Member of Parliament in Kabwata Constituency
– We need also to ensure that we translate this very law into our local languages and take it to areas, especially rural areas where we feel that English is a bit of a strange language to our people. And the civil society including the government, they need to educate the people. It’s the very time that the civil society also took up initiatives of conducting seminars, programs, training on how people can respect and understand these laws.
Hon. Twaambo Mutinta, Member of Parliament in Itezhi-Tezhi
Just having laws in place is not enough. HWPL Peace education aims for the heroes responsible for the next generation to become citizens of peace, cultivate the spirit of peace, and solve global security problems so that they become leaders who create global harmony and achieve peace. The set of practical peace education must be provided to students at school on topics such as peaceful attitudes, values, and experiences so that students can practice peace in society.
Hon. Christopher Kalila, Member of Parliament in Lukulu East
Hon. Christopher Kalila, Member of Parliament in Lukulu East and President of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Champions stated in the interview video that he became an advocate for comprehensive sexuality education in order to combat issues such as child marriage, schoolgirl dropout due to pregnancy, and high HIV prevalence rates. Also he highlighted the important tenet of Children’s Code Act, parental responsibility by saying, “It places an obligation on parents to provide for their children’s education, health, and protection. This provision should be publicized to the community to emphasize the importance of parental responsibility.”
Hon. Andrew Tayengwa, Member of Parliament in Kabwata Constituency
What is this role of youth enhancing awareness on child rights? You have the responsibility to not only raise awareness of child rights but also to be the number one defender of child rights. They also have to be involved in issues of policy and governance and that aspires to rise to a position of influence in society in order for them to be the voice of others who cannot even speak. They also have to be whistleblowers on the violation of rights of our children.
Ms. Mary Samba Kapalu, teacher of Kamwala Secondary School
I want to appreciate the ideas that came through especially from the workshop. I feel it will strongly encourage a lot of people to be aware of this peace education because if there is no sensitization, it is difficult to attain peace education across the world.
Raphael Kumwenda, Producer of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)
Raphael Kumwenda, the Producer of ZNBC emphasized the need to take advantage of various media houses and engage key gatekeepers such as religious leaders, traditional leaders, and civil society organizations to inform them about the law to protect children’s rights. He proposed incorporating peace education into the syllabus and holding conversations on the topic regularly. He also stressed the importance of engaging underserved communities and rural parts of the country.
Salifyanjin Silungwe, Founder of Salifyanji Silungwe Foundation
I am thinking of constantly collaborating with members of parliament, you come to Lusaka but when you go to villages nothing is there. How are you going to transfer this information… These areas are highly neglected. People don’t know about children’s rights. Let people, children know about their rights.
As a follow-up to the discussions in this webinar, our future plan is to work towards implementing peace and rights education for children in Zambia. This will involve identifying key stakeholders such as teachers, religious leaders, traditional leadership, civil society organizations, and engaging with them to ensure they understand the importance of this initiative. We also plan to incorporate peace education into the school syllabus, starting from the elementary stage, to ensure that children actively participate and appreciate what peace education is all about. We believe that by doing so, we can help protect and enhance the rights of children in Zambia and create a more peaceful society for everyone.
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