Public to Give Input On Child Care and Protection Bill

MEMBERS of the National Council have referred the Child Care and Protection Bill to its Standing Committees on Gender, Youth and Information, and the Women Caucus for further investigation.

The Bill (number eight of 2014) will-via these committees-be taken to the public through the regional councils, traditional leaders and social workers, among others, to detect possible loopholes.

Debating the Bill in the House of Review in Windhoek on Tuesday, Tsumeb constituency councillor Lebbius Tobias, who supports the Bill, said in its current form the Bill is not clear on the protection of a child as it only deals with child protection after something has already happened to such a child.

He noted that the Bill should address the need to take care of children before something happens.

“It is long overdue and many children have suffered in the absence of this Bill,” he stressed. Tobias expressed concern that there are currently young children who are supposed to be in school but are roaming the streets and shopping malls, saying these children’s rights have already been violated.

“How should we go about punishing their parents or guardians? These children are supposed to be in schools,” he said.

The councillor stated that another act of violation is carried out farmers who employ young children who are supposed to be in school, saying that, once implemented, the Child Care and Protection Bill will take care of such problems.

He added that another issue is that children who are born outside marriage are regarded as not equal by their parents, compared to those born in a marriage, adding that the Bill will give all children equal rights and subsequently change this practice of discrimination.

Tobias further said there is a need for the public to be properly educated about the Child Care and Protection Bill, including other Bills, which are to be passed in parliament.

The National Council then adjourned until further notice to give time for the two parliamentary standing committees to engage the public and report back to the House of Review.

– Nampa

Source : The Namibian