WINDHOEK - Namibia is listed the seventh country among the most child-friendly countries on the African continent by African Child Policy Forum, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Wilhencia Uiras informed the African Partnership to end violence against children.
The gender equality and child welfare ministry in conjunction with the global partnership are convening a five-day meeting with the aim to build the capacity of Namibia’s child protection service providers on prevention and systems strengthening, that will effectively address violence against children. The overall objective is to catalyse Namibia’s efforts to implement violence prevention interventions and thereby fast track their envisaged plans to join the pathfinding initiative.
Uiras explained the African child policy forum looks at three areas, protection, provision and participation. She stated it analyses African countries on how they are doing in terms of the three areas. Asked if the rating corresponds with the situation on the ground, Uiras said,
“the rating is fair but obviously we acknowledge that there are a lot of challenges. “Violence against children is still occurring in Namibia and that is why we have this workshop to come up with strategies to reduce any form of violence against children.”
Uiras stated Namibia has seen a lot of sexual violence perpetrated against children, of late committed by family members and trusted people.
She said these crimes are not committed so much by people who are not known but obviously there are cases where a stranger would be a perpetrator.
In addition, UNICEF deputy country representative Gregor Von Medeazza said they are one of the partners in the global partnership to end violence against children and very well-placed to support the INSPIRE strategies and interventions as these are deeply rooted in children’s rights. Medeazza said children’s rights are indivisible and interdependent. He explained that besides children protection, UNICEF has long been supporting countries in improving education, social protection and health for instance, all areas which are relevant for child protection.
Despite the high ranking on having one of the most child friendly policies, our Staff Reporter reported yesterday that a 33-year-old woman got arrested for allegedly killing and burying her two-year-old daughter on Wednesday.
The body of the deceased identified as Selma Liwanga, two, was found buried in a shallow grave in a field near the suspect’s homestead in Mangeti Dune in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Namibian police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi said the mother allegedly strangled the two-year-old to death and buried her in a shallow grave and thereafter pretended that the girl was ‘missing‘.
“The suspect went around looking for the child. The police were then alerted and a search for the child was carried out. The shallow grave was discovered during the search with the child buried in it,” explained Shikwambi.
The mother, Helena Joao has since been arrested and appeared in the Tsumkwe Magistrate’s Court where she was denied bail.
In an unrelated incident, a 12-year-old girl became a victim of sexual abuse when she was sexually violated by a 19-year-old. It is alleged that the victim was sleeping when the suspect entered her room and forced himself on her. She screamed and the suspect fled, and then she went to tell her aunt who alerted the police.
The incident took place on Friday at Ovinjuru, Epukiro area.
The suspect has been arrested, a rape case opened and police investigations are ongoing in the matter.
The police in Karibib arrested two men, a 21 and 37-year-old for allegedly having sexually violated an 18-year-old girl on Sunday. According to the police, the suspects were in the company of the victim.
They allegedly escorted her home from the drinking place from where they were hanging out. It is alleged the suspects forced themselves on the victim at her residence.
A case of rape has been opened and the suspects are due to appear in court.