Protect Mauritian children against violence
This petition had 1,568 supporters
Open Letter to Mauritian authorities
Ref: The fight goes on
Over the years Mauritius and all stakeholders are advocating for the promotion and protection of the rights children of our Republic. We are signatories of a number of conventions; Convention of the rights of child, the Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict in 2008; the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in 2011; and signed the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure in 2012.
Despite all effort being done by authorities, NGOs and civil societies, it seems that we have a systemic failure at all levels. The result of institutional, judicial and societal failure is the life of our children being destroyed dans la spirale infernale de la violence sexuelle.
Unfortunately, nearly every day the press is reporting cases of violence on children. The country is under shock before these acte ignoble et condemnable; rape, sexual harassment, aggression etc.
Time is now to question ourselves, to do our mea culpa and come forward with rapid implementation policies to address the issue of violence on children.
The figures are alarming in Mauritius and sexual violence on children is on rise with 513 girls and 43 boys being victim in 2019. It is clear cut that girls are more prone to be victims of sexual violence which is due to feminization of poverty. When it concerns unreported figures, we are of opinion that the figures can easily be multiplied by 5.
After consultation with a number of stakeholders Raise Brave Girls association advocating for gender equality and women empowerment has come forward with a series of proposals which are as follows:
1. Raise Flag System
Over the last 3 years we are advocating for a Raise Flag System which will be a high information highway system connecting all key service providers concerning children. We wish to put forward a system where it becomes compulsory for a child to have a dossier scolaire and a carnet de santé which can be used as a tool to know the historical background of the child and to detect problems ranging from violence to teenage pregnancies and much more.
The Raise Flag System must be a system interconnected with Ministries like education, social security, gender, health and police. Access to information will automatically be restricted only to authorized officers to preserve confidentiality. We cannot afford to lose our children in a complex system and data collection is compulsory.
In a scenario where children are roaming on the streets instead of being enrolled in an educational system. The raise flag system will act as a tool to help authorities for identification purposes and rapid contact tracing. Children cannot disappear from educational institutions and find themselves roaming in nature.
2. A national child service
We are requesting for a national children service unit to give support to the CDU. The objective of the service will be data collection on field which will be used not only to supplement in reported cases but also to detect les zones et enfants à risque at an early stage. Data collection and vital statistics will play an important role in designing policies adequate to match the real-life circumstances.
It will be compulsory for the unit to deliver 24/7 and investigate in depth because we cannot lose our children in a systemic traditional and institutional approach. Moreover, it is high time for the Ministry of Gender and Welfare to centralize its child provider services for more transparency, accountability and accessibility.
3. Sexual education
Time is now for us Mauritian to look at the reality and what is happening around us. We no more can wear blinkers and sexual education needs to be introduced at all levels of our education. We need to teach our children about their body and sexuality to avoid as far as possible cases of teenage pregnancies and attouchement sexuelle.
In most cases of teenage pregnancies, the traditional way of thinking is about dimoune ki pou dire which leads to child marriage of children above 16 years with parental consent.
4. Children’s Bill
We urge the National Government to come forward as quickly as possible with the Children’s bill which will finally revoke section of the Code Civil Mauritius allowing a minor to get married with parental consent. Whereby on the other way hand UNICEF puts it clear that children marriage is one of the major source of sexual violence on children. It is inadmissible that child marriage is a fait normal in our modern society.
We have to be very careful of the silent danger of concubinage which is done in catimini in some cases of teenage pregnancies. We are requesting authorities for concubinage with minors to become a criminal offence under the upcoming children’s bill.
5. Legal framework
Social media is being flooded with the demand to introduce peine de mort with regards to sexual violence on children. However, we should not move quickly towards such an implementation because the danger of such sentence may follow by cold blooded murder to avoid a parade identification.
Therefore, we are making a demand to introduce l'emprisonnement à perpétuité using the Black Dolphin Prison system.
On a concluding note, we want to add that our children are the future of Mauritius and it is our duty to protect them to the best of our ability.
We hope that our humble and urgent request will be taken into consideration because Time Is Now to Act and protect children of the Republic of Mauritius. This shall be our légende personnelle.
Raise Brave Girls
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