The government has called for a multi-stakeholder approach including community involvement to reduce cases of child sexual exploitation especially in shanty areas around the country.

Speaking at the dialogue on commercial sexual exploitation of children in Zimbabwe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Ngoni Masoka said despite the government working towards the harmonisation of children’s laws to the constitution, communities are reluctant to report cases of child sexual exploitation which have become rampant.

Experts highlighted the need to address root causes of child sexual exploitation and to increase children’s participation and representation to ensure their safety and protection said children’s rights experts.

Recently, more than 50 girls were removed by the government from Hopley suburb where they were victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

The government is now working towards aligning to the new constitution the Children’s Act, the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act and the Marriages Act, among other laws, in order to protect children’s rights.