Home » Human Rights » Of Location and Children’s Rights

EVery child in Zimbabwe must be able to access their rights regardless of where they live. This is, however, the sad reality that, the rights a certain child can enjoy depend very much on where they live. Basically, children living in towns and cities are able to access rights with more ease than those in rural areas and farms. Children in urban areas go to school, get training, have access to health facilities, can easily report matters to the police and are usually aware of their rights. Their counterparts in rural areas are not even aware of certain rights available to them and are not even able to access the rights. The Government must see to it that all the children in Zimbabwe are aware of their rights and are able to get them freely. It is likely that, many children organisations are mainly centred in urban areas and what is seen in rural areas and farms is just a shadow of those organisations .

Children living in urban areas are fully aware of the fact that it is their right to go to school and to make their own choices. Those in rural areas are privileged to be in school and choices are usually made by their parents and guardians for them.

Regardless of religion it is likely that, a girl in Harare will not be forced into marriage with an older man than the similar girl in Bikita.

The reason being, the one in Harare is aware of her rights and the rural girl is not. Similarly, it is most likely that children organisations such as Childline and GCN are most active in urban areas. All the primary school children in urban areas know the Childline Helpline because it is written everywhere , including ice-cream sticks whereas , those in the rural areas and farms have no clue about what Childline is. What is needed now are not new policies, but an expansion of the existing policies and organisations, they need to be made more effective, they need to reach out to every child in Zimbabwe. Independent organisations must not be urban-centric but must be where attention is needed. Parents in remote areas are not aware of child rights, they see themselves as doing a favour to their children rather than a duty. They treat children as sources of income and they treat them wrong.

Children are taught that they have rights at school but it does not mean anything if the parents are not aware of such things. Tremendous awareness campaigns are needed to enlighten both the parent and the child. Organisations that focus on children rights should not only be concentrated in urban areas, they need to open branches in remote areas, in every place where a child is likely to be found. We need to revise our expand more, we must go beyond geographical distance, we must go beyond protecting the rights of the girl child only, focus on all rights.

Source : The Herald

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