E Seng Mo Ngwaneng is a national campaign on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the country. It was launched by First Lady Mrs. Neo Masisi.
In her remarks, Mrs. Neo Masisi pointed out that there is a correlation amongst sexual exploitation, abuse and HIV prevalence in young girls. She added that She said adolescents, aged between 15 and 19 had the highest HIV prevalence among girls with 15% compared to boys with only 5%.
“Study shows that children who have witnessed or being subjected to violence are more likely to become victims or abusers themselves. It becomes like a cycle. Violence against women and girls is an extreme manifestation of gender inequality and systematic gender based discrimination in society. The right of women and children to live free of violence depends on the protection of their human rights as enshrined in our constitution,” she said.
She appealed to men to stop abusing girls. She emphasised that there was a matter of urgency in addressing the root cause of sexual and abuse of children. She added that there was a long term and systematic approach of children’s rights.
For her part, Lone Tshubang, chairperson of the Children’s Consultative Forum said it was important to protect children. She explained that it was crucial for children to grow up under the protection of all the adults in their communities. Tshubang said children raised in poverty were mostly victims of sexual abuse.
“If you know or suspect sexual abuse is happening and keep quiet, you are part of the problem. We are the adults and we have equal power to the abuser. The child has no power, so the responsibility is on adults to speak up.” - Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF Representative