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End Violence Against Children

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  • 1 year, 2 months ago
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Hello friends, on behalf of my team #FutureLeadersInitiativesl, I want to take this opportunity to draw your attention close to something very important for all of us. My team is embarking on a global fight to end all forms of violence and corporal punishment against children in Sierra Leone to zero% by 2021 – 2030.

Why? This is why…

In Sierra Leone today, corporal punishment has been a culture inherited from the past generations. Sierra Leonean parents prefer to ‘spare the rod and spoil the child rather than to spoil the rod and spare the child. They believe corporal punishment is the only means of making a child to listen, focus, and be a better person, they prefer punishing a child to anything, and this is unbearable. My mission and that of my organisation is to educate, empower, promote, and protect the rights of youth, women, and children for sustainable development. The goal of this campaign is to end all forms of corporal punishment to zero% by 2021-2030 and this means we are leaving no one behind in the fight because every parents, guardians, or family member will be held accountable if anything happens to the future of our children.
‘If we are to lead the next generation to achieve its sustainable development it has to start practically by this things we do and say to every child irrespective of where he or she is coming from’.


Even though the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1926 confirms the right of parents, teachers, and others to “administer punishment” to a child (art. 3); the Child Rights Act 2007 confirms the concept of “reasonable” and “justifiable” correction (art. 33(2)). The near-universal acceptance of a certain degree of violence in childrearing necessitates clarity in law that no degree of corporal punishment is acceptable or lawful but yet still it is in the increase.

Nearly 82% of parents here in Sierra Leone do not know the rights of their children. Children whose parents have passed away are facing violence every day at the hands of their stepmothers, aunties, and family members. According to our findings, 60% 70% of parents here in Sierra Leone have experienced disappointment in their relationships, some women have divorced their partners, and this has left a psychological and mental illness on their minds. A woman who has a child or two and has no one to help her take care of those children is capable of using violence against that child because of her past and present trauma, the same goes for a man. We believe that child parenting; empowerment, children’s rights education, and psychological counselling can help parents to end violence against their children both at home, in school, and in the community as a whole. We also believe that when women are empowered their future and that of their children is safe.


There are several forms of violence children faced every day but the most common ones in Serra Leone are;
1. Corporal punishment. [Beating with a belt, or spoon, sticks, slippers, weep, slapping, starving, and so on]
2. Asking a child to carry a heavy object for 30 minutes or an hour, tied their hands, or even set them on fire if a child is suspected to involve in stealing
3. Seizing the child’s freedom not to play, which is against article 24 of human rights. Most often parents will not allow their children to come outside when they [children] have done wrong either intentionally or not, they will be asked to clean the entire house and wash all the pans and pots
4. Bullying, shouting, parents and teachers flogging a child during school assemble hours disgracefully

When parents are asked not to beat their children they will say;

1. They are my children, I take care of them, I feed them, and not the government, not anyone so I will do whatever I want to do to them and no one has the right to stop me
2. My child has no right to question my action against him or her
3. If my child is not ready to leave or take my orders I will ask him or her to leave my house

Below are some points highlighting the possibilities of a child to face corporal punishment in Sierra Leone.

1. When parents do not know the rights of their children and are not educated about the negative effect of violence against children
2. When the government failed to implement laws and policies in place which will protect children in and out of their homes
3. When the issue is taken to be a cultural norm
4. When there are no platforms for children’s voice to be heard by the government
5. When single parents are not empowered especially younger women


Psychological effect
Child not feeling safe to share anything with the parents
Child running away from the home
Child not attending school because of provocation from friends and will lose focus
Sexual violence and teenage pregnancy will occur in girls

OUR TARGET: This campaign is going to target

PARENTS: Parents are the key people to target in the fight against violence against children at home. They determine what their children should say or do therefore, to better address this pandemic we are going to form a Parents2Parents [P2P], community group that would serve as a
Platform for community people like teachers, relatives, chancellors, pastors and Imams to collectively address these issues.


• Child parenting and sexual gender-based violence training
• Physiological and Stress Management training
• Human rights education training
• This group will provide business schemes to single mothers to support their children’s education and also to better uplift their status of livelihood.

CHILDREN: Africa parents believe that a child with black skin can only be nurtured by the use of punishment or severe torture but that is not the case, we are in the 21st century and children need their space to discover who they are and what they are capable of doing positively. A positive peer group could inspire and motivate other dull children to effect huge changes in their lives. Where there is an edutainment platform for children to learn and play, this will create awareness to children about their responsibilities.
The campaign is going to form a Children2Children [C2C [community group, which is going to serve as a training hub for young girls and boys to forwarder build up their leadership skills.


• Nursing a generation of human rights defenders and humanitarian advocates
• Enhancing children’s capacity to prevent and response to gender based violence using sport, music, and poetry writing.
• Equipping children with basic computer skills like Microsoft word, Web Navigation, and professional media skills on video editing, camera usage, graphic design, and photography.
We believe this will help them to engage their minds and their parents would be glad to see their children learning and developing old and new skills and talents.

COMMUNITIES: Every community is a determinant factor of a child’s progress and failure. A community that doesn’t protect children’s rights is waging a war on the future of the child, the community, his or her country, and the world at large. The Sierra Leone communities lack awareness of the rights of children and do not know the negative side of violence against children.
We have seen many scenarios where community people give drugs to children to sell. We have seen where two children will fight and people will sit and leave them to fight, and the disabled are not given opportunities in any social activities both in school and at community level all in the name of disability. As an organisation we cannot bear this situation and we will not sit and risk the future of our children.


We are going to work with community leaders especially chiefs to set up a policy that will protect every child irrespective of religion, tribe, or family status whether rich or poor, able or disabled


In most cases in Sierra Leone, private schools do not apply corporal punishment on their school pupils because their teachers are paid, they are professionals and the schools have policies on children’s rights, while on the other hand government schools apply corporal punishment especially in the rural areas of Sierra Leone because they teachers are not paid well so they will call for extra classes and will ask the pupils to pay a small amount of money and if that child fails to pay, he or she might be asked to leave the class or will be flogged.
And 70% of those government schools do not have a child’s rights policy. A child who attends a government school will be asked to kneel in the sun if he or she comes to school late or that child will be flogged on his or her back and buttock. This has been an old issue in Sierra Leone; our organisation is saying NO to that.


• Working with schoolteachers especially in the rural areas to renovate depilated school structures, provide chairs, desks, tables, and better toilet facilities for those schools with an agreement to end all corporal punishment in that school. We believe empowerment can change the bad condition to good.
• Debate and quiz competitions for pupils and community people to have an insight on the dangers of all forms of violence against children


One of the strongest and most powerful voices to protect every child against all forms of violence is the voice of the government of a country. We believe the government has a greater role in ending violence against children in many ways, by financing community grassroots organisations that are in the fight against injustice and implementing laws and orders for citizens. Future Leaders Initiative SL is a recognized youth-serving agency by one of the bodies governing all youth organisations countrywide, which is the National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone. We were a part of the 2018 First Lady of Sierra Leone ‘ H.E Mrs. Fatima Bio’ Hands Of Our Girls national launch against rape and sexual gender-based violence in Sierra Leone.

• Advocate for the government to do its best in protecting the rights of all children across Sierra Leone
• Working with the human rights of Sierra Leone to provide us with human rights books for school-going pupils, community leaders, and religious leaders.

Lets talk about the future of our children if we really care.

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