The rights of a child: Defilement in Zambia

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Hamir, Zain
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It is a wonder that in the year 2004 alone child defilement cases were rocking Zambian daily newspapers. It's sad to say that the "so called" male parents or possibly brother, cousin or relative who should be there to protect the child has hit the public eye and is indeed a threat to the child.Zambians are now waking up to one of the worst forms of human torture and the seriousness of the brutal crime of child defilement. Child defilement has been going on for years of late and an increase in child defilement cases are being reported.According to the World Health Organization, statistics for the year 2004 indicate that the catastrophe of HIV/AIDS (human immune deficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Africa has already claimed over 18 million lives on the continent and has hit girls and women harder than boys and men. In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV prevalence among girls under the age of eighteen is four to seven times higher than among boys of the same age, an unusual disparity that means more deaths occur among women than men. Abuses of the human rights of girls, especially sexual violence and other sexual abuse, contribute directly to this disparity in infection and mortality. In Zambia, as in other countries in the region, tens of thousands of girls, many orphaned by AIDS or otherwise without parental care, suffer in silence as the government fails to provide basic protections from sexual assault that would lessen their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS or other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's) as well as serious psychological distress.In the view of this scenario, this research is dedicated at understanding the concept of child defilement and the various implications it has on the victim.This research sets out to introduce the felony of child defilement.The research creates an understanding of what rights a child has in general. It will explain how the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the protocols that followed it were created and why. It further demonstrates the legislation with regard to children, which has been enacted in Zambia, under the Zambian Law.After achieving this, focus shall be set on the crime of defilement, looking at the practicalities and realities tied to application of the law discussed. The various bodies that play an active role in helping both the children and the awareness of this offence shall be identified. This research shall come to an end with a conclusion and set of recommendations on how to dissuade possible offenders.
Children-legal status,law-Zambia , Children Rights-Zambia , Child sexual abuse-Zambia