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Hengari Presents Motion to Address Child Violence in Namibia

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian, Inna Hengari, has presented a motion to address the issue of child violence and neglect in Namibia.

Hengari expressed concern over the shocking incidents of violence against children in the country, with reports of rape, abuse and other forms of violence becoming increasingly common in the media.

This week, Hengari highlighted the prevalence of violence against children in the country.

She stated: “Reports of children being raped, abused or subjected to other sorts of violence have become increasingly regular in Namibian media.”

She emphasised that the escalating violent crimes, whether occurring online or in physical form, pose a serious threat to the fabric of Namibian society.

Drawing attention to the cultural aspects of a patriarchal society and the perpetuation of a violent colonial past in post-independent Namibia, Hengari shed light on the underlying causes of this distressing issue.

According to Hengari, a survey conducted by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare in 2019 unveiled the distressing truth about the vulnerability of Namibian children.

She stated: “The findings of this report confirm much of what we already know in Namibia: Many children in Namibia are at danger of violence, and the perpetrator is often someone they know or trust.”

Hengari further noted that the violence often takes place in locations where children should feel safe, such as their own homes or schools.

The survey’s data revealed that one in every four parents or caregivers does not always know the whereabouts or activities of their children, highlighting a concerning schism between primary caregivers and children.

Additionally, the survey indicated that youths are more vulnerable during the afternoons and nights, possibly due to a gap between school supervision and when parents finish working.

Hengari emphasised the importance of the Namibian Constitution, which provides provisions for the protection of children’s rights. She highlighted the Child Care and Protection Act, which places a strong focus on upholding the child’s best interests.

In conclusion, Hengari made several recommendations, stating: “I, therefore, make the following recommendations: Create awareness on the utilisation of medical, psychological, legal, and protective services available for children and youths who have experienced violence.” Her motion seeks to address this critical issue and ensure the safety and well-being of Namibian children.

Source: Namibian