December 29, 2023

Child president wants action on juvenile alcohol abuse

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Deep concern over a video circulating in the social media of children allegedly drinking alcohol has been expressed by child president Neville Mavu and he has called for action to find the source of the alcohol and to stop children drinking alcohol.

In a statement, child president Mavu said it was illegal for children to acquire and consume alcohol in Zimbabwe.

He said the irresponsible behaviour not only violated the law, but also posed serious risks to the health and well-being of vulnerable children.

“This therefore begs the question of how this could happen in the public eye,” child president Mavu said.

“It is a distressing and disheartening matter that calls for urgent attention and action from all stakeholders. Furthermore, as a child, it is troubling that children are purchasing and consuming alcohol despite being aware that it is unlawful and detrimental to their health and welfare.

“This points to a broader issue of awareness and education about the dangers of alcohol consumption, especially at a young age from the family and educational institutions. It also points to possible breach of child protection as well as drug and alcohol policies and legislation that must be addressed by relevant authorities with urgency.”

Child president Mavu thanked the Government for their unwavering commitment to protecting the welfare of children.

He was aware that the police had already made commendable progress in taking a responsible interest in the matter. Child president Mavu called the Children’s Welfare Council to take a keen interest in the matter, the Liquor Licencing Board to ascertain the responsible entities that must have been involved in the distribution and accommodating the children during their drinking spree, and the community leadership as well as concerned citizens to take decisive steps towards identifying and bringing the matter to its reasonable and responsible end.

“Their efforts are crucial to bringing those responsible to account for enabling underage drinking and ensuring that the law is upheld,” he said.

“In so doing it is important to remember that some children are also being subjected to exploitation and abuse by being forced or groomed to commit illegal acts including drinking alcohol and taking drugs. This underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to protect and support vulnerable children who are at risk of harm or neglect.
“As the child president I urge parents, guardians, educators, and the community to join hands in safeguarding children from harmful influences and providing them with the care, guidance, and protection they deserve. Let us support each other in this fight against drug and substance abuse not forgetting that ‘it takes the whole community to raise a child’.”

 

ZTN-Herald

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