UN’s Ribeiro calls for the protection of the girl child

Staff Writer

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe has called for the strengthening of safety nets around the girl child.

Addressing delegates at the inception of Plan International’s Strategic Plan for 2019 to 2024, Ribeiro said challenges bedeviling the girl child is synonymous to international trends.

“Girls are taken out of school, married far too young, and subjected to violence. This is a violation of their rights, and a huge waste of potential with serious consequences,” she said.

The United Nations chief said the veil of hope under the member states commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals can never be achieved if issues concerning girls and young women, who happen to be the majority are ignored.

Zimbabwe is ranked among five countries with the highest child sexual abuse prevalence rates globally and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has alluded to the gradual increase in the number of reported cases estimating that 100 girls are abused every day.

ChildLine, a nonprofit organization that provides free therapeutic and educational services for Zimbabwean children aged below 18 years who have suffered abuse also confirms a 14% increase of child sexual abuse cases attended by the organisation between 2013 and 2014.

Said Ribeiro, “Let me also reiterate to Plan International our support and our appreciation not just to the work that you are doing here in Zimbabwe and in other countries, but our appreciation of the partnership, which has always existed between your organization and various UN agencies.”

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