Key stakeholders in the education system have been urged to play a significant role in protecting school going children from lower academic performance following a rise in the sex related incidents in the Tutume Sub-District. Acting Officer Commanding Number 15 Police District, Superintended Philip Lopang gave a sickening perspective on how children are being sexually abused in the area during the launch of 16 days of activism against violence on women and children campaign at Goshwe village. “We are living in a sick world,” said Lopang, adding that defilements are becoming a menace in the area. He said six incidents of defilement have been recorded from January to October this year while a whopping 18 cases were reported last year. He added that rape incidents have remained relatively high. According to Philip, 19 incidents have been recorded this year alone while 32 women, many of them being young girls, were raped last year. The Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Minister Edwin Batshu called upon the residents of the villages such as Maitengwe, Nkange, Senete and Nswazi, which fall under Tutume Sub-District, to protect children. “Failure to protect children from all forms of violence, including that which occurs in the school environment is a gross violation of their rights as well as compromising their development and wellbeing,” said Batshu. Batshu told the gathering that school-related gender-based violence is correlated with lower academic achievement and economic insecurity.
As a country, Botswana prides herself with achievements made in the promotion and protection of human rights which are fully guaranteed by the constitution of this diamond rich nation of Botswana. It is also worthnoting that Botswana is a signatory to and has ratified key international and regional instruments such as the convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. “Moreover, violence against children has got a greater long-term health risks and perpetuates cycles of violence across generations,” said Batshu, adding that elders and parents should be exemplary to children and not be seen as monsters. In order to effectively address the challenges bedeviling children, especially the girl child in the country, Batshu called for innovative and targeted interventions. “It is our obligation as parents, communities and all non-state actors to fully participate in the response to end violence within our communities,” he said, adding that there is need to empower the society with information and appropriate skills which will trigger and sustain community debate and commitment.