By Halimatou Ceesay
Child Protection Alliance CPA recently sensitized Child survivors of violence on FGM, Child Marriage laws and Sexual offences act among others geared towards their protection in the communities.
The sensitization held at KMC and funded by Save the Children International brought together 25 participants. The project is dubbed Radiohjalpen.
The objective of the sensitization is to mobilize the support and participation of survivors of Child abuse and exploitation; to give them a better understanding on how to further protect them; and to encourage them to report cases of such violence.
The expected outcome was to ensure that all stakeholders from individuals, Civil Society, governments work towards making sure that the rights and needs of survivors, are given due consideration; Increase access to a proper justice system for child survivor so as to further protect their image.
Kaddijatou Jallow activity coordinator at CPA said this activity targets child survivors of child marriage, sexual abuse, FGM etc. “This simply means that all children deserve an environment that is safe and nurturing, one that will allow them to grow, thrive, and maximize their full potential.”
“As it is clear that children within our communities face lot of challenges in terms of dealing with sexual abuse, child marriage and other related cases, happened due to lack of social support from communities, individual and limited child protection support service. Therefore, this may have long lasting effects on their lives, due to the physical, psychological, and sexual violence they experience in and around the centers and communities”, she said.
Jallow added that it will always have a serious impact on their education, health, social and Economic life which will continue to affect their self-esteem and that of their children as they become young mothers.
Another key area she said, is that they (the children) are the mostly vulnerable to Gender Base Violence which can affect their performance as individuals in different aspect of their life. “Often when children are abused, there is limited or no mechanism at all to help them seek for remedy”.
She said that the fear to report their parents, teachers or caregivers when they are abused will continue to affect them and this right is upheld for everyone, including children, “according to Article 19 of the UNCRC which requires States to ‘protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence while in the care of their parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has care of the child”.
“It is against this background that the Child Protection Alliance with support from Save the Children will be having these two days session with child survivors within Kanifing Municipal Council to discuss sexual abuse, child marriage, FGM and how to further protect themselves from such violence,” she said.