Government has expressed concern over the increase in cases of defilement and child trafficking in the country.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati expressed the concern on Tuesday during commemoration of 2015 International Literacy Day.
The commemoration was held at Yamba Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Mwaulambia in Chitipa District under the theme ‘Literacy, Foundation for Sustainable Societies’.
Kaliati said defilement child trafficking frustrated efforts to exploit the potential of children.
She said defilement, child trafficking and forced early marriage had become worst forms of human rights abuses, especially against the girl-child.
“Government is concerned that many little girls in most parts of Malawi are subjected to abuses that range from defilement, child trafficking to being forced into early marriage, which is a violation to their right to education,” Kaliati said.
She, however, blamed the increase in cases of abuse of girls’ rights, especially defilement, on lenient penalties meted out by courts on defilement offenders.
”The only way to curb these barbaric practices is to impose stiffer penalties against culprits to scare other would-be offenders,” Kaliati said.
Kaliati commended the Malawi Human Right Resource Center (MHRRC) for its commitment in fighting for the rights of women and the girl-child.