01 OCTOBER 2014, BANGKOK, THAILAND: ECPAT International released the Zambia Country Monitoring Report on the Status of Action against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children today that calls on the Government of Zambia to domesticate its commitment to international conventions into a strong legal framework that protects children and supports necessary social change.
The report presents the review of all legislation, customary law and judiciary systems that address the commercial sexual exploitation of Zambian children. The report recommends the development of a platform for regular dialogue, debate and education around traditional practices and customs as a first step towards harmonising customary law with national and international law that protects the rights of Zambian children from commercial sexual exploitation.
The report discusses a number of provisions for the protection of children from various forms of sexual exploitation, including prostitution. The law criminalises the prostitution of children and provides penalties of up to life imprisonment for perpetrators. However, law enforcement, implementation and coordination among relevant stakeholders are weak.
The Report discloses that internal trafficking is more common than cross-border trafficking and that the victims are predominantly females, orphans and teenagers. Child prostitution and child labour are also identified as some of the common forms of commercial sexual exploitation in Zambia. The Report reveals that Zambia had 580 children involved in prostitution per 100,000 people, the second highest number among the 12 countries examined, according to a recent study on child prostitution. The report exposes that Zambia is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and trafficking for sexual purposes.
The report calls for the development and implementation of an up-to-date National Plan of Action (NPA) for Children, which includes a comprehensive and detailed component on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The report requests that the NPA for Children be sufficiently resourced with clear coordination and monitoring to ensure its effectiveness and impact for Zambian children.
Zambia is set to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in the coming months, together with the other 193 State Parties that ratified the Convention; however, the report calls on the Government of Zambia to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC) in order to provide effective and comprehensive protection to all its children, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised.
The Children in Need Network (CHIN), the ECPAT group in Zambia, is recognised throughout the report as a key actor in the protection of children against exploitation. “CHIN strongly encourages the government of Zambia to act on the recommendations provided in this report in order to better protect Zambian children from commercial sexual exploitation as this will enhance the realisation of a society where all children’s rights are upheld and where children are free to realise their dreams and aspirations.” – Theresa Katempa Kabeka-Mwansa, Executive Director.
The report underpins the importance that all national legislation should be harmonised with the CRC. The report calls on the government to address the inconsistencies with customary law and provide more protection for children and victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
ECPAT recognises that Zambia has seen a notable rise in economic growth and per capita income in recent years. ECPAT considers that the holistic growth of the country can be furthered and enhanced through protecting, ensuring and fulfilling the rights of children.
The Report is produced and published by ECPAT International in collaboration with Children in Need Network and with the financial assistance of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), The Oak Foundation and Irish Aid.
The full report is available here.
ABOUT ECPAT INTERNATIONAL
ECPAT is a global network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. ECPAT has 80 member organisations in 74 countries in the world. ECPAT seeks to encourage the world community to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights, free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
ECPAT International has been leading the global discussion on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and is recognised as a strong and cohesive child rights advocacy network speaking on behalf of vulnerable children and child victims of sexual exploitation for nearly 25 years.
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