OSHAKATI - The Chief Social Worker in the Ministry of Safety and Security at Oshakati Monika Erasmus has urged parents to be exemplary to their children and to motivate them to study hard as education is the only equaliser of socio-economic injustices.
Erasmus was speaking at the commemoration of the Day of the Namibian Child held last Thursday at Dr Chief Ankama Primary School in Ompundja Constituency of Oshana.
She said parents have the greatest responsibility to safeguard the rights of their children by ensuring they obtain national documents, attend school, and have access to health care and are protected from all social ills such as abuse, alcohol and neglect. “Parents, motivate the children to study hard, let us buy them school uniforms and stationaries and show them good example by avoiding domestic violence in our houses, by not drinking too much and neglect or abuse the children,” urged Erasmus.
The Day of the Namibian Child has been commemorated annually on 28th September since 1990 when Namibia rectified the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it aims at raising awareness on the care and protection of children. This year’s event was commemorated under the theme, “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”. The social worker further cautioned children to be on alert and to report any form of abuse perpetrated on them.
“Dearest learners report any physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, financial abuse or neglect to your parents, teachers, police, social workers, counselors, or pastors.”
The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka in a speech read on her behalf by Ompundja Constituency councillor highlighted that Namibia recorded a significant increase in violence against children and the raping of minors which is a serious matter of concern. She called on all key stakeholders to combat violence, the abuse and neglect to form a chain of services that ensure the rights of children, especially the right to protection is indeed the first priority. “As a nation, we cannot continue to tolerate violence against our children, violence against children and against their mothers is now a national and humanitarian self-made crisis,” stressed Sioka.
Sioka additionally emphasised that parents have the responsibility to protect their children and to ensure their rights came first by providing a safe environment and leaving children in the care of trusted people. She further urged parents and caregivers to take action if they detect any form of abuse, be it from a stranger or a family member because it is many times that the trusted and close are the ones violating children. “Let us not just be parents on birth certificates, but let us be present in the lives of our children,” advised Sioka.