Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso presented awards to journalists who participated in raising awareness on trafficking in persons, End Child Mirage, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse as the Commemoration of World Children’s Day 2022.
Beneficiaries of the awards included Banana Hata-Hata from Ultimate FM, Sibongile Kolobe from Lesotho Television, and Mosa Maoeng from Informative Newspaper.
Speaking at the event organised by the World Vision International Lesotho, Her Majesty said it is pleasing to be part of this historic commemoration of Children’s Day under the theme ‘Equality and Inclusion for every Child’.
She said this occasion will go a long way in strengthening the means of implementation for local and global partnerships for the Development of Sustainable Goals (SDGs).
She commended various stakeholders for their collaboration and achieving a common goal thus combating child mirage, traffic in persons, abuse and raising awareness on child protection and justice for children.
She noted that the collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development, UNICEF, IOM, World Vision Lesotho, MISA-Lesotho and various media houses will bear good fruits in the long run.
Also Speaking, the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development, Mr. Pitso Lesaoana thanked Her Majesty as the National Champion of the Vulnerable Children for her commitment to supporting the initiatives aimed at promoting and protecting children’s rights.
Mr. Lesaoana expressed gratitude to UNICEF, IOM, World Vision Lesotho, and MISA-Lesotho together with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development for the technical and financial support to this First Media Awards in commemoration of the World Children’s Day.
He said the Government of Lesotho is committed to protecting the children and all the vulnerable groups against all forms of abuse, saying media play a pivotal role in advocacy and education as it would not have been possible to do it alone without engaging them in sensitization of the nation.
He, therefore, stressed that it is for the mentioned initiatives that the children’s voice and that of the vulnerable people will be heard and consequently influence the decision made by all stakeholders that work for children’s issues.
The Minister, however, noted that there is more to be done, singling out the passing of the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act Amendment Bill of 2021, which declares illegal Child Marriages among others. He, therefore, committed himself to expediting the passing of that Bill.
He said this day under the theme ‘Equality and Inclusion For Every Child’, stressing that no child shall be left behind in decision making, citing either a child with a disability, exploited, abused and trafficked, be in need of care and protection or any form of vulnerability.
He, therefore, said child participation and mainstreaming child protection in all the programmes have to be the core mandate.
On the same token, World Vision National Director, Mr. James Nkeba Chifelwe thanked the companies that made the event a success and they include; Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, T. Y Four Square, Blue Mountain Inn, Aloes Guest House and Alliance Insurance Company.
He noted that the role played by Her Majesty as the World Vision Lesotho Champion to support initiatives aimed at the prevention, protection, and mitigation of violence against children in Lesotho is highly appreciated.
He said World Vision Lesotho is a member of the World Vision International and Christian Relief Development and Advocacy dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities to overcome poverty as well as injustice.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.