Dodoma — The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ms Ummy Mwalimu on Monday challenged parents to be on the forefront of protecting the rights and welfare of their children.
Addressing a press conference in marking the International Family Day, which is globally celebrated every May 15, the minister said that the government would continue making good policies and laws to protect children in the country. However, the best protection should start from the families and society at large.
The minister noted that if cases of underage drug abuse are on the rise, then it is clear that somehow, somewhere things went wrong in parenting.
"Parents and Guardians are the cornerstone of ethical society. We're in a digital world; we should supervise what our children are consuming from the TV and the web. Hard work and financial struggles shouldn't be an excuse for parents to spend less time with their children," she said.
Ms Mwalimu also noted that a 2011 report done by UNICEF and the then Ministry of Community Development shows about 60 per cent of acts of sexual abuse on minors are perpetrated by family members or close individuals. The report also shows that about 49 per cent of abuses occur inside victims' homes, 23 per cent on the way to or back from school, and 15 per cent in school.
"The biggest challenge that we're facing is that families are reluctant to open up on the abuses which are perpetrated from within," she said.
The minister also called on religious leaders to also sensitize their followers on taking good care of their families.
Authors: All Africa