Plan International Zambia is a recognised leader in advocating for children’s rights. We work collaboratively with families, communities, and law enforcement personnel, traditional leaders and government to:
- Reduce abuse and violence against children and young people at home and at school
- Increase participation of children and young people in activities and issues that affect them
Our programme activities include:
- fighting early and enforced child marriages
- working with traditional leaders to protect children
- establishing Community Child Protection Committees
- mainstreaming disability
One of the lead causes of child marriages in Zambia stems from traditional norms and practices, especially in rural areas. Working with the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (MoCTA), Plan International Zambia is supporting advocacy programmess with traditional leaders to challenge harmful cultural norms that perpetuate child marriages. Plan International Zambia is leading advocacy activities through the dissemination of anti-child marriage messages in the media and community meetings.
Another innovative solution to addressing the issue of child marriages is through the formation and training of community-based child protection structures called the paralegals. These groups, supported and trained by Plan International Zambia, is working in partnership with the law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws at community level and to work with other community members in the promotion of human rights. Traditional leaders are supporting the paralegals in order to dissolve child marriages.
We are also leading an initiative to train traditional initiators (women who typically lead young girls in coming of age ceremonies) in child protection so they can ensure communities are aware and respond to all forms of harm against children including:
- the identification of sources of harm,
- protecting evidence in cases of rape and defilement,
- providing counselling services, and
- reporting of cases and referrals to ensure that appropriate action is taken.
Through the implementation of Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign to end violence in schools, and Because I am a Girl campaign to ensure girls’ rights, we advocate for effective implementation of policies. We also facilitate child rights and gender training, including training community paralegal volunteers.