World Vision Eswatini and local partners were joined by an envoy from the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho for a knowledge sharing session on children’s rights issues of child protection.
World Vision Eswatini organised a roundtable discussion for partners in Eswatini and the envoy from Lesotho leadership positions from different sectors, including World Vision Lesotho staff, magistrates from the Lesotho Children’s, Ministry of Public Works and Child Protection services.
The purpose of the event was to share knowledge with the Lesotho counterparts on children’s rights and also learn about their experiences in Lesotho. The session aimed at providing an overview of the Eswatini child protection system (Policies, Laws and Institutional arrangements) to the Lesotho team while they also share what they have in Lesotho as means to protect the rights of children and spot some gaps that can be filled in thus in ensuring the protection of children against abuse, including child marriage and other violations that affect the lives of children in Lesotho.
Some of the keynote speakers during the event included World Vision Eswatini’s Advocacy and External Engagement Lead, Sakhile Dlamini. “We’re excited to meet with other stakeholders who have the same vision as ours from other countries. This means that at the end we are all going to achieve abused children’s justice. I can also observe that other countries who are facing the very same challenges as us were able to join us so that they gain more knowledge on how we can improve children’s lives”, Dlamini said.
After the knowledge sharing session that the Lesotho team was taken to the various child friendly facilities that already exist in Eswatini. They visited facilities such as the children’s court in Mbabane Magistrate Court, children’s court in The High Court of Eswatini and the One Stop Centres in Mbabane Government Hospital and the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini where they admired all the child-friendly services offered there and also made inputs on how these spaces can be improved.
Speaking as the tour progressed, Her Worship Puseletso McPherson, a magistrate in the Children’s Court in Lesotho expressed that Eswatini is quite ahead in terms of ensuring that justice for children prevails.
“We came here to learn, to reflect and to build on our own justice system in order to make it more child friendly. I think this will greatly help us in a way where we can put our heads together and see how we can progress and promote justice for children in Lesotho,”
Her Worship Puseletso McPherson, a magistrate in the Children’s Court in Lesotho said. She further mentioned that with the learnings they got in Eswatini are indeed something to go by and quite a lot still needs to be done in Lesotho to ensure that they get to the end of the tunnel and have the child friendly services that are already available in Eswatini.