Groundbreaking news: law changed to protect children

2 Jul, 2023

In June, our member Farm Orphan Support Trust (FOST) achieved a groundbreaking law change for children and families in Zimbabwe – thousands of children will benefit from this change in the long term!

As a global alliance, Family For Every Child work together with our member organisation to create change for children and families on a local, regional and global scale. This means, we directly support children in the communities where we operate, but we also share our expertise and research with lawmakers and governments to improve children’s lives in the long term.

The Parliament of Zimbabwe has passed the Children’s Amendment Bill which aims to strengthen child protection by aligning the Children’s Act with the Constitution and international conventions. FOST have worked tirelessly to advocate for children and families in Zimbabwe to make this bill amendment happen, and our supporters have helped make this possible. What a wonderful achievement! 

The Children’s Amendment Bill strengthens child protection practices in the country. Some of the changes that were made are breakthrough and important. They ensure that many, many more children and families can find protection under this bill. A new council has also been established, dedicated to protecting vulnerable children and promoting their rights. This council is tasked with reviewing the bill every five years, with a focus on including children in the conversation, so they can participate in shaping decisions that concern them. 

Some of the key changes to The Bill include: 

  • The distinction between “children” and “young persons” has been scrapped, calling everyone under the age of 18 a “child”. This means all children from 0-18 are now eligible for support.
  • The definition of “parent” has been expanded, now including all biological parents, whether they’re married or not. This means that all parents can get support through this bill, whether they are married or not!
  • The definition of “children in care” now includes children who are at risk of being unlawfully married, or are pledged in marriage, pregnant and unaccompanied children. These were not previously included in the bill, and could not get support under the bill! 

The Bill also imposes stricter requirements for registering institutions housing children and provides for Early Intervention and Family Preservation Programs designed to preserve family structures, develop parenting skills, rehabilitate children, and prevent their neglect or abuse. 

This is a fantastic and game-changing law change that ensures the safety and support  of thousands of children in the future. Family For Every Child are proud to have supported FOST in affecting this change, and we thank our generous supporters for making our collaborative work, and global impact, possible. 

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