Ill treatment of children by parents and guardians is one of the major reasons perpetrating child marriages, Child labour ambassador Samuel Mutambo has said.
He observed that children were ending up in early marriages because of lack of love in their homes.
“Some parents and guardians are too harsh with children; hence contributing to the escalating levels of child marriages because they feel they are not loved and cared for in their homes,” Mr. Mutambo said.
He urged parents and guardians to pay particular attention to children and be sensitive when handling issues surrounding them.
Mr. Mutambo bemoaned the tendency by some parents and guardians who do not give their children time to study and play to restrategise.
“Yet, when the child fails examinations she is severely punished which is not fair. How do they expect the child to do well when they are ever loaded with house chores?” he said.
Mr Mutambo stated that children had the right to education and play, adding that it was wrong to deny them their rights.
Mr. Mutambo also warned parents and guardians against taking child marriage as business by forcing the girl child so that they could enjoy bridal gifts.
“It’s not right for parents to marry off their girl children because of money, this is cruelty and it must be condemned,” he said.
He called on communities to protect the girl child from early marriage, stressing that Government would save a lot of money spent on addressing complications resulting from birth complications.
Mr. Mutambo suggested that perpetrators of child marriage should be severely punished so as to set an example to would-be offenders.