Child abuse cases drop in Blantyre District

Blantyre District Social Welfare Office has said there is a decrease in the number of child abuse cases registered this year as compared to the same period of time in 2021.

Blantyre District Social Welfare Officer, Stephano Joseph told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that from January this year up to September, the district has registered around 1500 child abuse cases with child neglect being the most common registered form of abuse. 

“During the same period in 2021, we registered over 2000 cases; it shows that the numbers have gone down but it is not something to celebrate about since there are still many child abuses that are happening. 

“Blantyre being a combination of both the rural and urban, there are a lot of activities that are happening and most of them actually affect children, as a result some of the children are affected by so many types of abuse,” said Joseph.

Joseph-There is an increase in reporting of child abuse cases as compared to previous years. Pic. Chilungamo Missi (MANA).

He, however, said there is now an increase in reporting of child abuse cases as compared to previous years, attributing the development to improved systems that enable people to report.

“To improve the system of reporting, our office has 34 child protection workers in the community; we also have other child protection workers who are being supported by other organisations and through other partners we are increasing the capacity of structures like the police and community victim support units,” Joseph said.

In an separate interview, one of the country’s child rights activists, Amos Chibwana commended the district for efforts that have led to the decrease in child abuse cases but pointed out that the margin is still huge which means that children are still being abused. 

“It is a task that still gives us a responsibility of taking more action to ensure that children are protected, are being taken care of and safeguarded as provided in the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act,” Chibwana said.

Chibwana, therefore, bemoaned delays of handling child abuse cases when reported to the police and courts, saying perpetrators of child abuse cases are given bail and others on remand waiting for eternity to conclude the cases.