By Ignatius Annor
First Lady of Sierra Leonne, Sia Koroma has said a consensus with sub Saharan African countries is been mooted to study child marriage and examine its implications for the girl child.
‘‘We hope to have an important understanding of child marriage, its consequences, or the drivers, the solutions of child marriage. We will look policies, legal framework surrounding child marriage and we intend to build a platform where we’ll be sharing a successes and challenges’‘;Sia Koroma said as the world marked International Day for the Girl.
Child marriage is a severe violation of human rights and one of the worst forms of child abuse, the Sierra Leonean First Lady intimated. She added that West and Central African have a high prevalence.
‘‘Sierra Leone and teenage pregnancy I will regard as some others do as the two evil twins. We have a high prevalence child marriage in Sierra Leone and teenage pregnancy and we’ve looked at it in depth. There is a disproportionate affection’‘,she noted.
Sia Koroma said her country is working to have resources spent on implementing programs aimed at ending the practice.
The Sierra Leonean First Lady intimated that there’re a lot of community mobilisation and social mobilisation in the formal and informal settings, traditional religious leaders have been very important in ending child marriage. Memorandums of understanding have been sent, they are formulated bylaws and edits to end this situation.’‘And besides we are part of the AU (African Union) launch, we have launched our campaign to end child marriage in Sierra Leone’‘.
In 2013, Sierra Leone established a national secretariat and also put in a place a national strategy to end child marriage. The country is hoping to end child marriage in the region so girls can maximize their full potential and contribute towards national development and the sustainable development goals.
Published on AfricaNews on October 15, 2017.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. It reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.