The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Partnership forMaternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Project, in collaboration with the National Assembly of Zambia, conducted a sensitisation workshop for selected Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday, 12th December, 2023. The aim of the workshop was to orient MPs on the operationalisation of Section 18 of the Children’s Code Act, No 12 of 2022.

During his opening remarks, Hon Joseph Musanje, MP, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus on Children (PCC), called upon all MPs to adequately acquaint themselves with the Children’s Code Act. He emphasised the need for MPs to work closely with traditional leadership in the country and ensure that contents of the Act are operationalised.  Particularly, he encouraged MPs to enlighten their constituents regarding Section 18, which focuses on the protection of a girl child from female genital mutilation, child marriage and other harmful practices. He echoed the need for the law makers to begin testing the effectiveness of the Act by spearheading the reporting of cases hinged on harming children, through harmful practices to relevant Law Enforcement Agencies. In concluding his remarks, the PCC Chairperson thanked the IPU and PMNCH for considering the Parliament of Zambia in undertaking the workshop. He reminded the Members that the training was a follow-up to the National Indaba hosted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) between the National Assembly of Zambia and the House of Chiefs on strategies aimed at ending child marriage in Zambia.

Meanwhile, in her presentation Ms Womba Wanki, Executive Director, Generation Alive and facilitator of the training, called upon all Members of Parliament to expeditiously consider amending the Penal Code to align it with the Children’s Code Act No. 12 of 2022. She also encouraged all Members to take interest in, and familiarise themselves with the contents of the Children’s Code Act.

Participants for the training were drawn from the Parliamentary Caucus on Children (PCC), the Zambia Women Parliamentarians Caucus (ZWPC), as well as the Parliamentary Caucus on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Life Skills and Health Education (PC-SHR and LSHE) and selected staff from the Research Department.