Pupils have called for stiffer punishment for parents and guardians that force their children into early marriages.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Day of an African child in Vubwi district, 19 year old Prisca Tembo, from Vubwi Day School expressed disappointment that parents in the area have continued to force their children into marriage despite sensitization efforts being made.
Meanwhile Eastern Province has continued to lead in Zambia in incidences of child marriages at 58 per cent.
Speaking during the same occasion, PLAN Zambia Child Protection Coordinator, Katongo Mwansa attributed this to some of the cultural and traditional practices that are prevalent in the Eastern region.
Mr. Mwansa said that it was for this reason that PLAN has partnered with government through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to come up with a manual book that will offer guidance to chiefs on how to end child marriages in their chiefdoms.
And Vubwi District Commissioner, Enelesi Banda called on stakeholders and the legal fraternity in Zambia to advocate for removal of laws that perpetuate child abuses.
Ms. Banda says despite having a good child policy that was formulated in 2006, there was still need to make some changes to the Marriage ACT.
The DC further revealed that a demographic survey of 2007 shows that the survival of a child depends on the age of the mother.
She said that out of 1,000 births recorded in Zambia, 100 babies die because the mothers are underage.