United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

11 November 2021

Original: English

English, French and Spanish only

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Combined fifth to seventh periodic reports submitted by Zambia under article 44 of the Convention, due in 2021 *

[Date received: 21 June 2021]



Acronyms and abbreviations3

I.New developments5

II.Rights under the Convention and its Optional Protocols 7

III.Statistical information and data31

Acronyms and abbreviations

AUAfrican Union

CACComprehensive Abortion Care

CSD Community Service Directorate

CSO Central Statistics Office

CLCCabinet Legislative Committee

DCPC Data Collection Process Control

DCLC District Child Labour Committees

DMMU Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit

EIAEnvironmental Impact Assessment

ECEEarly Childhood Education

EMTCTElimination of Mother to Child Transmission

FSPFood Security Pack

GRZ Government Republic of Zambia

GBVGender Based Violence

HGSFP Home Grown School Feeding Programme

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

INRIS Integrated National Registrar Information System

INSS Integrated National Statistical System

IOMInternational Organisation for Migration

IWFInternet Watch Foundation

JICAJapan International Cooperation Agency

KAMPAIKabwe Mine Pollution Amelioration Initiative

KGSKeeping Girls in Schools

LAZLaw Association of Zambia

LDNLand Degradation Neutrality

MYSCD Ministry of Youth Sport and Child Development

NCCC National Coordinating Committee for Children

NDFNational Diversion Framework

NECDNational Education and Campaign Division

NHIMA National Health Insurance Management Authority

NPANational Prosecution Authority

NRM National Referral Mechanism

NSPP National Social Protection Policy

OPDOrganisation of Persons with Disabilities

OSCOne Stop Centre

7NDPSeventh National Development Plan

7NDIP Seventh National Development Implementation Plan

OHRC Office Human Rights Commission

OSCOne Stop Center

OVCOrphans and Vulnerable Children

PWASPublic Welfare Assistant Scheme

UNCRCUnited Nations Convention On the Rights of the Child

UNCCDUnited Nations convention to Combat Desertification

UNZAUniversity of Zambia

SCTSocial Cash Transfer

SDG Sustainable Development Goals

SNDPSixth National Development Plan

SRGBVSchool Related Gender Based Violence

SRHSexual Reproductive Health

SRHRSexual Reproductive Health Rights

VSU Victim Support Unit

WFPWorld Food Programme

ZAMSTATSZambia Statistical Agency

ZAPD Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities

ZDHSZambia Demographic and Health Survey

ZEEP Zambia Enhancement Education Project

ZEMA Zambia Environmental Management Agency

ZICTA Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority

ZIFLP Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project

ZISPISZambia Integrated Social Protection Information System

ZLDC Zambia Law Development Commission

ZMERIP-Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project

I.New developments


1.The State party wishes to submit in writing the information requested from the List of issues in submitting the combined fifth to seventh periodic reports for Zambia. The report reflects the holistic perspective on children’s rights as they are being implemented and provides a basis for dialogue about the implementation of the convention and the enjoyment of human rights by children in the State party. The report has also provided information on the follow-up on the 2016 concluding observations on the combined second and fourth periodic reports of the State party.

Response to paragraph 2 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission of the combined fifth to seventh periodic reports of Zambia (CRC/C/ZMB/QPR/5-7)

The State party wishes to provide information as follows


2.Mental Health Act No. 6 of 2019 – Section 15 (6) of the Act provides for an exemption criterion for categories of mental patients eligible to receive free health services at public health facilities which includes children.

3.The Employment Code Act No. 3 of 2019 – Part V of the Act (Covering Sections 80–87), prohibits or regulates the employment of Young Children (Child below the age of 15) and Young Person (a person who has attained the age of 15 years but is below the age of 19 years). Section 81 makes it an offence for a person to employ a young child in industrial undertakings.

4.Water resources Management – Statutory Instruments, No. 18 of 2018 on user fees and charges, 19 of 2018 on licensing of drillers and constructors of other water works, and 20 of 2018 on ground water are progressive legislations enacted to curb unregulated drilling of boreholes and thereby promoting sustainable practices that prevent degradation of ground water resources.

Institutional measures

5.The revamping of the National Child Justice Forum for enhanced coordination of activities on related child justice instruments and the development of the National Child Justice Strategy, 2021–2025.

6.The development of the National Diversion Framework 2018 (NDF) to provide for alternative measures to formal criminal justice system such as community-based rehabilitation and reintegration programmes.

7.The development of the National Guidelines for the Protection of Child Witnesses and Victims 2019, in the Judicial Process, for use by role players in the administration of child justice.

8.The launch of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, whose mission is, “To promote and ensure adequate water availability and a clean and safe environment for all”;

9.The launch of the National Climate Change Policy, 2017, which introduces a well-structured and coordinated strategy that will help tackle the effects of climate change.

10.The launch of the National Child Online Protection Strategy, 2020, whose aim is to implement a coordinated approach in dealing with online risks and ensure children are protected online.

11.The launch of Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) 2017–2021 Strategic Plan in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 16.2 which seeks to end all forms of violence by 2030.

12.The development of the National Alternative Care Framework (2017), which outlines the coordination mechanisms on Alternative care and provides care regulations, standardized operational procedures and prioritizations of family based alternative care options.

The State party wishes to report on opportunities and challenges faced


13.There is the existence of National documents such as sector strategy plans and policies.

14.The existence of cordial work relations with State and Non-State Actors.

15.Good will towards women and children’s programmes by the development and cooperating partners.

16.Existence of Political will which allowed for attaining of path finding status and accelerated the fight on ending Violence against Children.

17.The shift from sectoral to multisectoral planning has enhanced programme implementation.


18.Data limitations coupled with the lack of gender and disability-disaggregated data continue to be a huge constraint on CRC/SDG monitoring and evidence-based planning.

19.Adverse effects of climate change pose major threats to achieving the CRC/SDG targets.

20.The national coordination structure vested in the Child Development Department and Child Justice Forum requires technical and financial support to adequately facilitate its coordination mandate.

21.Challenges in Child Labour Monitoring, lack of follow-up programmes and weak information management systems.

22.The recent COVID-19 pandemic has led to diverting of resources from other programmes to safeguard the health of the citizens, including children and delays in implementing programmes.

Response to paragraph 3 of the list of issues prior to submission

23.The State party through the principal body responsible for National Planning and Development, developed the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) (2017–2021), which domesticated 86% of the SDGs and aspects of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The implementation and reporting on SDGs are coordinated through institutional structures using the model of Cluster groups, made up of State and non-State Actors.

24.The 7NDP made a departure from sectoral-based planning to integrated (multisectoral) development approach under the theme “Accelerating development efforts towards the Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”. The approach recognised the interlinked nature of sustainable development, which calls for interventions to be tackled through a coordinated approach. To this effect, an Implementation Plan, which specified the outcomes, outputs to be attained and their related cost estimates was launched to provide guidance to the implementation process.

25.Going forward, the State Party has developed an Issues Paper in preparation for the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). The objectives are to identify and outline structural issues and provide a basis for broad consultations and consensus building among stakeholders.

26.On the Principle of Child Participation, the State party is in initial consultation for the development of a National Strategy for Child Participation, which will provide procedures and guidelines for Child Participation in schools, health, social justice and governance systems. A draft national guideline for the creation of a children parliament have been develop with the support of Save the Children Zambia. Children forums have been created to provide input in the development of plan, implementation and budget tracking.

27.The State party has continued to engage children and young people in governance matters through the holding of Annual Children’s Summits, for instance during the commemoration of the 30th CRC anniversary and the observation of children’s mark days. These have helped create awareness on the rights of the child among communities, schools, learning institutions and the Nation. Further, 10 regional consultative meetings in the formulation and review of national policies and programmes were held from 2012 to 2015; another 10 consultative meetings were held to consult children and other young people in the State Party reporting process from 2015 – 2017. Children’s Symposiums were held in 10 provinces to commemorate the 30th Anniversary for the African Charter and the World Children’s Day in 2020 under the theme “Reimagining our Future”.

II.Rights under the convention and its optional protocols

A.General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44 (6))

Comprehensive policy, strategy and coordination

Response to paragraph 4 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

28.On the timeline for the adoption of the Children’s Code Bill the State party wishes to report that the consultative process and drafting of the Children’s Code Bill have been concluded. The Bill was subjected to legal committee meetings and will be discussed in the Cabinet Legislation Committee (CLC) meeting during the first quarter of 2021. The Bill has been listed to be tabled in parliament in its first 2021 sitting and the enactment is expected before the adjournment of parliament in May, 2021.

29.The Bill will repeal the Legitimacy Act, 1929, the Adoption Act, 1956, the Juveniles Act,1956 and the Affiliation and Maintenance of Children Act, 1989. The objective is also to incorporate regional and international child rights which includes domestication of the UNCRC, African Charter on Children’s Rights, Hague Conventions on Intercountry Adoptions and International Abductions. The committee may wish to note that the process of consultation on the development of the Children’s Code Bill was spearheaded by the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC).

Response to paragraph 4 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

30.On how the National Child Policy (2015) has been implemented and its coordination mechanisms, the State Party wishes to report that upon approval, it undertook a nationwide dissemination of the Policy to all Provinces, sixty provincial and districts dissemination meetings were held. In addition, an implementation plan with a monitoring mechanism, the National Plan of Action for Children in Zambia 2015 has been developed and disseminated alongside. For effective coordination of Child programmes and projects, Coordinating Committees have been established, the National Coordinating Committee for Children (NCCC) at national, and the District Child Protection Committees (DCPC) at district levels. The Committees are responsible for planning, implementation, monitoring and resource mobilization, they bring together State and non-State Actors in child welfare and development.

31.The State party has also developed the National Standards and Guidelines for Services and Programmes for OVC in Zambia (2016). This provides policy guidance on minimum standards of care for institutions providing services to the OVCs.

Response to paragraph 4 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

32.On the coordination and division of mandates related to the implementation of the Convention between the MYSCD and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the State party wishes to report that Gazette Notice No. 836 of 2016, outlines the functions as follows; MYSCD – Child Development, Child Policy, Coordination of Youth organization and Coordinating Sport Organization, Sports Development, Sport Policy, Street Children and Youth Entrepreneurship and for MOJ – Agreements and Administration of Estates, Human Rights, Domestication of International Treaties and Conventions, Law Revision and Reform, Legal Advice and Policy, and the State Law.

33.There has been the enactment of the Ratification of International Agreements Act No. 34 of 2016, which separates the mandates of the two by placing the responsibilities of reporting to international bodies such as the UNCRC on the Minister responsible for the subject matter.

Response to paragraph 4 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

34.On the update on the functioning of the Council for Child Services, the State party wishes to report that it had started working on establishment of a National Child Council, however this was stopped after nationwide consultation. Instead, the State party worked on strengthening the existing roles of the Department of Child Development and Social Welfare. Further, some of the functions and powers of the proposed national child council have been realigned in the light of impending enactment of the Children’s Code Bill.

Data collection

Response to paragraph 5 of the list of issues prior to submission

35.On the measures taken to improve the collection and quality of disaggregated data, the State party wishes to report that the Statistics Act, 2018 came into effect in September, 2020 through signing the Statutory Instrument and gazetting the commencement order. The Act establishes an Integrated National Statistical System (INSS), provides for mechanisms for coordination, collection, management and dissemination of statistics, and promotes the use of statistical data and information at all levels. The creation of Zambia Statistics Agency (ZAMSTATS) has improved data collection and analysis at institution level.

36.Further, the State party has embarked on developing a robust Management Information System (MIS) on children to enhance data management especially on indicator tracking on levels of vulnerability and service provision. As a build up to this, individual programme databases on Alternative Care, Community Based Case Management and Ending Child Marriage have since been developed to improve the collection and quality of disaggregated data. The State Party has also developed an Integrated Social Protection Information System (ZISPIS) to manage data and payment systems for Social Protection beneficiaries including children.

37.Furthermore, the State party under the Zambia Education Enhancement Project (ZEEP) has a component that is targeted at improving the Education Management Information System (EMIS). This component aims at improving the quality of the information collected as well as reducing the time it takes to collect education related data.

38.In addition, collection of data on disabilities is in tandem with Article 31 of the UNCRPD which requires State Parties to include Persons with Disabilities in data collection and distribution. The Persons with Disabilities Act, Section 14(2) mandates Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) to keep and maintain a register of Persons with Disabilities, Section 14(4), requires ZAPD to maintain the Disability Management Information System and provides for collaboration the Statistical Agency in maintaining statistical records of incidences to be used in promotion, administration and evaluation of services for Persons with Disabilities. To this effect, in 2015 a National Disability Survey was conducted to estimate the national prevalence of disability among adults and children. The results of the survey showed that the disability population of children aged between 2–17 years stood at 4.4%.

39.Additionally, the Human Rights Commission is working on improving data collection tools with appropriate disaggregation to enable collection and provision of data relating to children with disabilities and children who have come into contact with the law as part of their human rights monitoring mechanism through State of Human Rights report.

Independent monitoring

Response to paragraph 6 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

40.On the National Assembly providing oversight role in relation to children’s rights, the State party wishes to report that this is achieved through the committee system, Private Members’ Motions and by way of questions to Ministers or the Vice-President. Articles 80(1)(4) of the Constitution provides for the establishment of parliamentary committees and makes it mandatory that Standing Orders shall provide for the categories, functions and procedures of parliamentary committees. Standing Order, no. 157(1) of 2016 provides for the establishment of Portfolio Committees, among which is the Committee on Youth, Sport and Child Matters.

41.Standing Order, No. 157(2) (ii) provides, in particular, that the committees shall carry out scrutiny of activities being undertaken by ministries, departments and agencies under their portfolio and make recommendations to the House for consideration. For instance, during the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly from January–May 2021, the Committee on Youth, Sport and Child Matters will be considering a topic “The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Children and Young People in Zambia”. After a detailed study of the topic, appropriate recommendations will be made to the Government in an effort to improve the realization and enjoyment of the rights of children and young people.

42.Another example, the Committee on Gender Matters and Governance considered the topical issue “Gender Based Violence (GBV).” Among the observations and recommendations made, the committee was concerned that many perpetrators of GBV had continued to go scot-free because victims had prematurely withdrawn cases from the police or the courts because of high poverty levels. The committee found that in a lot of cases, the perpetrators of these offences were financially powerful, in some cases they were actually the guardians of the victims. In its recommendations, the committee urged the executive to ensure that the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Fund, established under part VI of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act was fully operationalized so as to scale up economic empowerment interventions for GBV survivors as GBV was rooted in weak economic status.

43.Standing Order No. 37, provides for private members’ motion. Pursuant to this, a private members’ motion was raised on the floor of the House in September, 2019 urging Government to provide sanitary towels to all girls in public schools. Standing Order No. 30, allows Members to ask questions to Ministers or the Vice President. In view of the above, on Tuesday, 26th June 2018 a question was asked to the Minister of General Education, on when the school feeding programme would be introduced in Mitete District, in Western province and when the distribution of sanitary towels to eligible girls’ pupils in the district would commence.

Response to paragraph 6 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

44.On the mandate, capacity, resources and activities of the Office of the Commissioner for Children the State party wishes to report that this office has not yet been established, however the Human Rights Commission has designated one of its Commissioners to handle issues of child rights violations. The Children’s Code Bill has provided for the appointment of a Commissioner for Children.

Response to paragraph 6 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

45.On the establishment of a dedicated body for the independent monitoring of the Convention the State party has in place the Child Protection Unit under the Zambia Police Service, the mandate of this unit among others are to receive complaints of violation of children’s rights, investigating of child’s rights violation, preparing of child witnesses and referring of child rights violation cases to courts of Law for prosecution. The unit also provides psychosocial counselling to victim of child rights violation. In order to make its work known to children and general public, the unit undertakes public sensitization on children’s rights and capacity building of Law enforcers.

46.The 2016 constitutional amendment has provided for the establishment of the office of the Public Protector, who is mandated to provide advice and encourage the development of policies, practices and procedures to promote children’s rights and welfare, highlight issues that are of concern to children and monitor and review the operation of legislation insofar as it refers to children.

Children’s rights and the business sector

Response to paragraph 7 of the list of issues prior to submission

47.On providing an update on the measures taken concerning the establishment of a regulatory framework for the mining industries, the State party wishes to report that it remains committed to promoting and implementing of policies to protect human rights for people working in the mining sector and those adversely impacted by mining activities including children. The Mines and Minerals Development Act No 11 of 2015 provides for regulation to ensure that mining activities do not negatively affect children’s rights or endanger environmental, health and other standards. Section 4(C) of the Act provides for safety, health and environmental protection while Section 36 authorizes suspension or closing of a mine due to unsafe working environment.

48.Further, the State party has established, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), a regulatory body to ensure that the activities of business houses do not have a negative effect on the health and general well-being of children, do not pollute the environment and has made it is mandatory for all businesses whose operations would have effect on the environment to submit Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) report before commencement. Furthermore, the State party issued in March 2018, a Statutory Instrument on extended producer responsibility regulations, which provides a framework for producer responsibility requirements and compliance order. In addition, in line with the Paris Agreement, the State party has pledged to reduce its emissions by 38,000 Gg CO2 eq by 2030. So far, cumulative emissions reduced by 39% (14,846.9 Gg CO2 eq) between 2015 to 2019.

49.On the action to clean up the lead contamination in Kabwe the State party is implementing a number of measures to, which more than 7,000 persons have been reached. The activity will be rolled out to reach more persons; and local Lead Awareness clubs have been initiated to promote sensitization of children in schools. This is being done with the support of World Bank, which is co-financing the Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP). The focus is on reducing environmental health risks associated with toxic exposure to lead affected population and has designated a health focal point person to oversee the implementation of the Project.

50.In addition, with support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) it is implementing a project called Kabwe Mine Pollution Amelioration Initiative (KAMPAI). The project’s scope is to monitor and assess the ecological and economic risks and impacts on health and the ecosystems. The studies under this project revealed high levels of Lead in soil samples attributed to the pollution from the lead mine. For case management, the State party with support from UNICEF has procured lead care drugs for treatment of 10, 000 children over a period of 5 years and is providing nutritional supplements to all children above the recommended blood levels as a therapy.

Definition of a child

Response to paragraph 8 of the list of issues prior to submission

51.The State party wishes to report that the Amended Constitution and the Gender Equity and Equality Act No. 22 of 2015 define a child as a person who is 18 and below. The Marriage Act is undergoing review.

B.General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)


Response to paragraph 9 of the list of issues prior to submission

52.The State party wishes to report that the Children’s Code Bill is anchored on the principle of Non-Discrimination and it is the intention of the State to translate this into practice especially in the delivery of education and health services for all children. The 7NDP (2017–2021) theme is ‘leaving no one behind’ in the development agenda, this is based on the principle of inclusion. The State party commitment to non-discrimination is also demonstrated in various legislation and policies among them, National Disability Policy 2015 and National Social Protection Policy 2015, which have a special focus on non-discrimination in service provision and prioritizes the marginalised. The State party has an obligation to provide quality health services to all children regardless of gender, age or race. The primary health care services and early child hood education to primary are free and can be accessed by all.

Best interests of the child

Response to paragraph 10 of the list of issues prior to submission

53.The State party wishes to report that it has launched the Best Interest Determination guidelines in August, 2018, which were developed to provide a formalised and standardized procedure in the management of vulnerable children and child migrants. The guidelines provide procedural tools which include the Best Interest Assessment form and the Best Interest Determination form. In addition, a number of role players have been trained in the identification, assessment and provision of appropriate services to vulnerable children and child migrants.

54.Further, the State party wishes to report that it has designed trainings on child protection for social welfare officers and child care facilities staff (including religious leaders) to enhance knowledge and skills in child care and protection. The training is anchored on four major principles of children’s rights namely: Non-discrimination, life, survival and development, views of a child, and Best Interest of the Child. Officers serving in private and public institutions are required to apply the four principles in the provision of services to children. It should be noted that the principle of Best Interest is at the centre of the trainings and the emphasis is for professional and traditional groups to apply this principle in their undertaking with children.

Respect for the views of the child

Response to paragraph 11 of the list of issues prior to submission

55.The State party wishes to report that it revamped of the National Child Justice Forum in December, 2018, whose mandate is to facilitate the coordination and collaboration of State and Non-State Actors in the child justice sector. This has enhanced coordination of activities for the implementation of the UNCRC and related child justice instruments. The relevant child justice institutions have administratively adopted child friendly procedures and in that regard have specialized focal persons to handle child matters to secure the protection of child rights at every stage.

56.The administrative interventions have promoted the development of institutional directives, for the handling of child matters among them timelines on cause disposal, prioritization of child matters, specialized personnel to handle child matters, training of specialized persons to build their capacity. The directives are in the process of being developed into operational guidelines for the various institutions including the Zambia Police Service, National Prosecution Authority and the Judiciary.

57.The establishment of the GBV fast track courts provides for the prioritization of cases involving children. These courts have a child friendly design that promotes the right to privacy, facilitates child participation and protects child victim and witnesses from the inherent trauma of the justice system.

C.Civil rights and freedoms (arts. 7, 8 and 13–17)

Birth registration

Response to paragraph 12 of the list of issues prior to submission

58.The State party wishes to report that it has conducted the baseline survey to determine uptake of birth registration and certification in all the ten Provinces. A National Strategic Action Plan 2015–2021 has developed systems to scale up birth registration among other vital events. These registration systems include notation of births in selected health facilities and Integrated National Registration Information System (INRIS) to ensure registration of births not only takes place at the place of occurrence but also provide for the assignment of the National Identity number of births. Enrolment in the INRIS will include registering all births that occurred, but were not registered.

59.The 2013/2014 and 2018/2019 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) indicate that birth registration coverage for children below the age of five increased from 11% to 14%. This increase is not significant but with the systems put in place, birth registration will increase significantly.

60.In order to improve this coverage and to attain universal coverage, the Health and Home Affairs Ministries signed an MOU in 2019 aimed at improving birth registration in the country. Health Facility-Birth Registration Desks have been established across the country, with the aim of taking birth registration facilities as close to the communities as possible. At present the State party is manually registering births in about 806 health facilities with plans of scaling up to cover the entire country. The arrangements being put in place for health facility birth registration will also cover health facilities serving in refugee camps as a way of ensuring that children born from refugees are accorded the opportunity to be given an identity.

61.Plans are underway to link the INRIS to SmartCare in health facilities once it is rolled out. This will enable health facilities to use the electronic platform to directly submit the notifications from the points of registration through SmartCare to DNRPC using the INRIS thereby reducing on time.

D.Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28, (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Freedom of the child from all forms of violence, including corporal punishment

Response to paragraph 13 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

62.On prohibiting corporal punishment, the State party wishes to report that the Constitution protects people’s civil and political rights as well as their social and economic rights. Article 15 of the Constitution guarantees both adults and children the right to protection from torture, inhuman and degrading punishment and these rights are justiciable. In 2004, a number of provisions relating to the use of corporal punishment in prisons were amended and repealed through the Prisons Amendment Act.

63.The State party has developed the Minimum Standard for monitoring of child care facilities, which states that children should be disciplined in accordance with the child’s individual needs and development and should not include harsh or unusual treatment such as corporal punishment, abusive language, or threatening hence, corporal punishment is discouraged in child care facilities.

64.Further, any guardian or person who inflicts corporal punishment or other forms of violence on a child in their custody can be charged with assault, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, or attempted murder in accordance of the Penal Code CAP87. In deciding the matter, the court will look at the nature of the offence, the harm caused the extent of the beating, the pain inflicted and the way in which the punishment was administered.

Response to paragraph 13 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

65.On accelerating the reform of the judicial system, the State party wishes to report that the second phase, of the UN-GRZ Joint Programme on Gender Based Violence (GBV) has planned for the construction of four additional Fast Track Courts in addition to the six existing ones. Through these courts, cases involving child victims are prioritized, and their child friendly design promotes the right to privacy, thereby promoting Child Participation in matters that affect them and protecting child victim and witnesses from the trauma of court proceedings. Over 30 investigators, prosecutors and magistrates underwent training prior to the launch of the first court.

66.On the legislative and administrative provision taken to enable reform of the Judicial system, the State party wishes to report that, there has been the sensitization of members of the public/victims on the existence of alternative remedies (civil remedies) provided by courts of law as well as strengthen them during the whole process through networking partners – not only when applying for the orders (protection and occupation orders), but also before and after.

67.There has been the introduction of the new Police Medical Examination Report Form for GBV cases especially sexual offences (ZP Form 32B). The development of the Electronic Occurrence Book (E-OB) is ongoing, whose main objective is to increase the range and quality of information that is stored electronically and automated. This will increase efficiency and expediency in handling GBV cases and records at the beneficiary police stations especially with the introduction of Anti-GBV Fast Track Courts.

68.There has also been the establishment of specialized desk under the Victim Support Unit to ensure efficient and effective delivery of service as follows: Domestic Violence Desk, Sexual Violence Desk, Human Trafficking Desk, Juvenile Justice Desk and Child Protection. Assigning of Victim Support Unit officers to the established One Stop centers to receive and follow-up cases that are reported. Participating in capacity building trainings of the service providers (multidisciplinary team) that comprise doctors, nurses, psychosocial counsellors, clinical officers, medical licentiates, police officers, prosecutors, paralegals and data clerks.

69.Further, the State party has developed the GBV and the Child Protection Training Module to be used at police training colleges for both new recruits and in-service officers in progress. The Child Protection Module will be incorporated in the already existing curriculum offered to the recruit, in-service and other law enforcement agencies.

Response to paragraph 13 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

70.On change attitudes, traditions, customs and behavioural practices, the State party wishes to report that the number of women reported to have experienced physical violence has declined from 43.3% in 2014 to 36% in 2018. Through collaboration between the State party and its partners, capacities have been built for the Police Service to be enable them identify, probe, codify and isolate GBV cases as opposed to treating all GBV cases as general assault. As a result, cases were being referred accordingly, enabling survivors to receive appropriate and specialised services.

71.Further, the State party wishes to report that a number of awareness raising activities on domestic violence and sexual abuse of children, through community sensitization and use of media have been carried out by the Community Services Directorate (CSD). Through sensitization and child participation programmes, children have been encouraged to report cases of abuse when they occur to them or to others. There has been a marginal involvement of Traditional leaders in the campaign against GBV through the development of traditional laws and regulations against the vice.

Response to paragraph 13 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

72.The State party wishes to report that in tackling cyber bullying and online sexual exploitation, a Cyber Crime Unit under the Zambia Police Service Forensic Department has been set up and officers are being trained in International Law Enforcement on online child sexual exploitation. Further, there has been the development and launch of the National Child Online Protection Strategy 2020. Following ITU resolution Number 179 on child online protection, the State party, signed an agreement with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to reinforce the nation’s ability to mitigate online risk against children.

73.The State party through the ZAMSTATS has been conducting National ICT surveys, one focus area is Child Online Protection, the 2018 National ICT Survey revealed that the levels of awareness and adoption of mitigation strategies remained low indicating that only 34.1% of the household heads had a member of their household responsible for monitoring activities online. The main incidents for online risks are fake news related and exposure to pornography.

74.The findings reveal that children as young as five years have access to internet without parental supervision. Recognizing the risks and challenges of internet usage, the State party developed the Child Online Protection Information toolkit for parents and educators to help provide information about the child online protection systems and to help them find their way to participate in making informed decisions.

Response to paragraph 14 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

75.To strengthen improve access to the support, preventive and response services to child victims the State party wishes to report that a National Referral Mechanism on GBV and VAC Handbook has been developed, which provides for guidelines on handling and referral of GBV and VAC cases. VSU officers are assigned at every One Stop Centre where other service providers are (counsellors, medical officers etc) to provide a coordinated response to victims under one roof. The health sector is well situated to respond, as children facing violence are more likely to view health workers as trustworthy for disclosure of abuse and to use a variety of health services, including mental health, emergency department and primary health care services.

76.To this effect guidelines have been provided to all health facilities to provide supportive, preventive and response services to child victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, gender-based violence and domestic violence, and some facilities are actually designated as One Stop Centres. The Child Protection Unit Officers are attached to the Department of Social Services to ensure that they coordinate with social workers in the provision of places of safety/safe homes for GBV / Child victims who may need care of the mentioned facilities when investigations and court processes are on-going.

77.The State party wishes to report that it has developed the National Prevention and Response Plan to Violence Against Children (2021–2025) using the INSPIRE SRATEGIES Model. Furthermore, a child helpline has been established to allow children who are being victims of abuse to report and access services in a child friendly environment.

Response to paragraph 14 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

78.To strengthen national mechanisms and funding for coordinated response to GBV, the State party wishes to report that the National Guidelines for the Multidisciplinary Management of Survivors of Gender Based Violence has been developed and provides guidelines for Police and Legal Response.

Response to paragraph 14 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

79.On adoption and implementing guidelines, and referral mechanisms the State party wishes to report that efforts to protect the rights of child victims or witnesses of violence has been put in place. The National Guidelines for the Multidisciplinary Management of Survivors of GBV have been adopted whose basic principle is that police, health, legal, judiciary and social welfare personnel should work together in responding to and tracking all cases of GBV including child victims or witnesses of violence.

Response to paragraph 14 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

80.On providing funding for Child line service the State party wishes to report that Childline conducts counselling, guidance and referral services on various social and health problems affecting children. It runs a toll free 116 Child helpline and collaborates with the VSU and Child Protection Unit on GBV and Child related cases. There exists a MOU between ZICTA and Childline that establishes the manner they operate in advancing the interests of children in the ICT industry. Childline runs a contact centre and captures concerns from children and generates statistics on issues affecting children in general.

Harmful practices

Response to paragraph 15 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

81.On implementing and raising awareness about the Marriage Act, the State party has provided adequate legal framework that guarantees equality between men and women. Equality is recognised as a national principle under Article 8 of the Constitution. Further, Sections (20)(21)(22) of the Gender Equity and Equality Act provide for the Right to Nationality, Sexual Reproductive Rights, Marriage and Family Life.

82.The State party using multi-agency strategies has been able to provide for public information, campaigns aimed at educating all at the local level, among them traditional leaders, parents and teachers about the Marriage Act, ending child marriage and related matters. In 2013, the State Party launched the campaign to end child marriage and put in place measures to address child marriage by engaging stakeholders including religious and traditional leaders. To this effect, all the 288 registered traditional leaders have been sensitised on harmful practices with a focus to end child marriage.

83.Further, in 2016, the State Party launched a National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage, which aims at reducing child marriage in the country by 40% by 2021. The National Plan of Action highlights activities at grassroot level aimed at raising awareness on child marriage as well as aspects of legal provisions on marriages. The State Party is also using community-based case management to identify and address various vulnerabilities among girls that may expose them to child marriage and to respond to victims of child marriage.

Response to paragraph 15 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

84.On ensuring that intersex children are protected the State party wishes to report that Intersex people in Zambia struggle to have their gender identity properly recorded on legal documents because there is yet to be a law that recognizes them as a sexual minority group. The current statistics show that Ninety (90) babies were born at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) have been identified as intersex in the past 10 years. At high level health facilities, the State party has streamlined a multidiscipline specialists’ team at the out-patient clinics who assess and conduct investigations for intersex (Hermaphrodite) children, they also provide counselling support as well as access to effective remedies to the affected children and their parents.

85.The National Registration Act of Zambia requires that all citizens over the age of 16 possess an identity card which contains basic information such as date of birth, name, address, gender and level of education. Section nine of the Act, which is commonly used to process name and address changes, could be interpreted to allow for gender changes, too. But for intersex people who want to change the gender with which they identify, the process requires medical testing. The rights of intersex people have not been studied or widely discussed by lawmakers.

Response to paragraph 15 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

86.In addressing the high rate of child marriage, the State party has instituted a national response by launching a multi-stakeholder anti-child-marriage campaign. Structures to fight child marriage have been put in place including a civil society coalition against child marriage and a ten-member inter-ministerial committee has been constituted. Further, the State party working with stakeholders developed a National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage 2016–2021, which has outlined the strategic focus, provides an operational framework and aims at accelerating national efforts to end child marriage by 2030.

87.Further, the National Advocacy and Communication Strategy 2018–2021 was launched in 2019, to enhance the implementation of national interventions on ending child marriage. The communication strategies will forge connections that allow state and non-state actors to work towards the common goal of ending child marriage. The Programme is being piloted in selected districts and during the 2019–2020 period, 974 cases were dealt with. Further 2800 community members participated in community dialogue meetings on gender norms.

88.The Victim Support Unit (VSU) in partnership with non-state actors has been involved in awareness raising and conducting training workshops for traditional leaders and their spouses and has further engaged the community and schools through in sensitization to raise awareness on the subject matter.

89.His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of Zambia, in his capacity as the champion on ending child marriage in Africa, together with the African Union (AU), continues to guide the campaign. “Through this effort a platform has been created for African leaders, at the highest level, to engage in efforts to end child marriage.

E.Family environment and alternative care (arts. 5, 9–11, 18 (1) and (2), 20, 21, 25 and 27 (4))

Children deprived of a family environment

Response to paragraph 16 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

90.To prevent unnecessary separation, in 2016, the State Party undertook a nationwide assessment of Child Care Facilities to understand elements contributing to the placement of children in institutional care and the conditions of the facilities. As a result, in 2017, the State Party launched Alternative Care and Reintegration Guidelines which provided mechanisms of responding to children deprived of family environment while addressing the importance of family preservation. The State Party is piloting reintegration activities of separated children in selected Districts as part of the operationalization of the reintegration guidelines as part of progressive deinstitutionalization. The target is to reduce on the inflow and increase on the outflow of children in residential care.

91.In December 2019, an Advocacy and Communication Strategy for Promotion of Family Based Care for Children was launched with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of family for children and provide information on family-based options such as kinship care, and adoptions. The State Party has also enhanced Case Management system for Alternative care and has developed tools for capturing information and aiding the process of decision making on child placement. The tools have also been digitalized in a Management Information System which has been decentralized to the Child Care facility level to enable social workers capture adequate information on children.

Response to paragraph 16 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

92.On institutional care the State Party wishes to state that “institutionalization of children is a measure of the last resort,” and as such children should grow up in a family environment for their care and support. To this effect the State party is prioritizing family-based care such as kinship and foster care by providing financial support to foster parents and those that opt to enter into kinship. The guidelines clearly prioritize family-based care options such as kinship care, and adoptions; and provides reintegration pathways of already separated children. Operationalization of the guidelines begun with training of key actors especially non-state actors running child care facilities to facilitate mindsets change and place priorities to value more the family-based care for children.

Response to paragraph 16 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

93.On supporting kinship and foster care, the State Party wishes to report that financial support has been provided to vulnerable families and child-headed households through the Social Cash Transfer support programme. There are 632, 326 households, of which 8, 364 are child-headed, who have been reached with this support. The total number of children reached through this programme is 1, 152, 012. ZAPD also has empowerment programmes targeting parents and guardians of children with disabilities, from 2016 to 2020, financial/material support was offered to 605 families while education support to 383 families thus bringing a total of 988 families supported.

Response to paragraph 16 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

94.To ensure that alternative care for children under the age of 3 is always provided, the State Party wishes to report that institutionalization of children is considered as a care of last resort, family care is encouraged for the proper holistic care. Therefore, children in need of care are always given the option of family care through kinship, adoption and foster care.

Response to paragraph 16 (e) of the list of issues prior to submission

95.On support to parents when children are placed in alternative care the State party wishes to report that there are a number of programmes targeting poor families such as Social Cash Transfer, Farmers Input Support programmes, women empowerment, bursaries schemes, livelihood support and women saving groups. All these programmes are aimed at improving the life of poor families, so that they are able to provide the basic needs for their families.

Response to paragraph 16 (f) of the list of issues prior to submission

96.On ensuring that institutions are phased the State Party wishes to report that it discourages institutionalization of children due to the negative impact that it has on their social and psychological wellbeing. Children are only placed in alternative care when all possible avenues have been exhausted. The placement adheres to the guidelines of alternative care and institutions are required to adhere to minimum standards of care and must have a safe guarding policy. Case management guidelines have been developed to ensure that children are properly screened before placement.


Response to paragraph 17 of the list of issues prior to submission

97.The State Party wishes to report that procedures on Intercountry adoptions form part of the Alternative Care and Reintegration guidelines. The domestication of the Hague Convention provisions in the national legal framework has been considered in the Children’s Code Bill and it is expected bring into effect the legislative requirements in accordance with the Hague Convention. The National Standards for accreditation and authorisation of adoption agencies have also been developed and will be presented before parliament as subsidiary legislation in form of Statutory Instrument.

Children in prison with their mothers

Response to paragraph 18 of the list of issues prior to submission

98.The State Party wishes to report that efforts are being made to safeguard the welfare of children living with their mothers in Correction facilities through the use of the case management approach, to deal with individual cases and promote alternative care for the children where possible. A survey was undertaken in 2018 to understand the circumstances of the children living with their mothers in Correctional facilities and a set of actions including improvement in nutrition, health services and early childhood education were prioritized through a multi-sectoral engagement. The State Party through its partner, ‘Mothers Without Borders’ is working to improve nutrition, health and education services for circumstantial children.

99.There is no formalised arrangement currently for children living with their mothers in prison to facilitate access to adequate and nutritious food, health services, right to play and early childhood education. However, correction officers allow children to be taken to health facilities when sick and for specific health preventive programmes like immunisations and de-worming.

F.Children with disabilities (art. 23)

Response to paragraph 19 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

100.To fully enforce the 2012 Persons with Disability Act, the State Party is in the final state of finalizing the statutory instruments on Education, Health, Labour and Transport as part of operationalizing the Act. In addition, it has undertaken a number of actions to mainstream disability in line Ministries through the appointment of focal persons whose action points are to ensure mainstreaming. For children, the focal person ensures that children with disabilities are not left out on the budgeting and implementation of programs relating to children.

Response to paragraph 19 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

101.To ensure that children with disabilities have access to early childhood education and care, the following measures have been undertaken:

(a)Inclusive Education Guidelines, 2016, were developed to ensure that all schools provide inclusive education as well as free education to all;

(b)The building of accessible school infrastructure that caters for different disabilities and reservation of 10% of bursaries to students with disabilities; and

(c)Lowering of the academic requirements for entry into tertiary education from 5 to 4 credits.

102.There is a Paediatric Rehabilitation Centre particularly for Children with disabilities where infrastructure and equipment has been provided to cater for Children with health-related disabilities like Autism, Down’s syndrome and also a Developmental Intervention Clinic and Audiology Centre of Excellence.

Response to paragraph 19 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

103.To ensure that children with disabilities have access to inclusive education the State Party wishes to report that in the past, specials school were created for children with disabilities, however the trend has changed with focus on inclusiveness, where children with disabilities are mainstreamed to learn with other children, teachers are taught on how to handle children with disabilities together with others. This is done with a view to eliminate discrimination of children with disabilities.

104.Early grade screening is conducted for all early grade learners to identify any learning challenges to ensure the learners are handled appropriately. The education system through the office of the Guidance and Career Counselling Teachers are trained to handle aspects to do with learners with special education needs to ensure that they are benefiting from the education system. In addition, when procuring Teaching and Learning Materials, the State Party does include procurement of equipment and assistive devices for children with special needs.

105.The education sector under the 7NDP (2017–2021), has committed to employing strategies that will enhance inclusion and participation of citizens considering their age, gender, disability and other factors which include, inclusion of the needs of learners with disabilities in the teachers training curriculum and the introduction of sign language from grade one to four among others. The State Party through collaboration with the Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) promoted inclusive education in 154 schools.

Response to paragraph 19 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

106.To prevent absenteeism and dropout from schools, the State Party wishes to report that it is undertaking a nationwide sensitization of pupils, teachers and members of the public against discrimination of children with disabilities and encourage parents of children with disabilities to allow their children access services such as education, psychosocial support and other services. In addition, the office of the Guidance and Counselling teacher plays a role in carrying out sensitisation activities and counselling sessions with learners and teaching staff respectively. Additionally, the State Party has scaled up the school feeding programme from 38 districts to 52 districts reaching three million learners, which also benefits learners with disabilities.

Response to paragraph 19 (e) of the list of issues prior to submission

107.To provide children with disabilities with rehabilitation, the State Party wishes to report that in line with the policy of inclusiveness, efforts have been intensified to provide rehabilitation services through the setting up of rehabilitation centers and provision of assistive devices such as wheel chairs, walking crutches, hearing aid, reading glasses and walking sticks for the blind. The State Party has been progressively establishing habilitation and rehabilitation centres, which offer among others, guidance, counselling and appropriate training. The National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre in Ndola is one such centre that provides skills in four disability areas, hearing, visual, intellectual and physical/neurological.

108.The Law provides for health policy makers to provide for among other services, rehabilitative operation treatment and appropriate assistive devices. OPDs such as Archie Hinchcliffe Disability Intervention (AHDI) are also complimenting efforts by providing physiotherapy and home school-based education to at least 3,845 children in Lusaka, Eastern and Southern provinces.

109.Other measures put in place include, the introduction of a course in Orthotics and Prosthetic at University of Zambia (UNZA) and the establishment of a workshop to make assistive devices for children with disabilities at University Teaching Hospital and Beiti cure, which use paper technology. There are two private hospitals, St. John Paul Orthopaedic Hospital and Beiti cure that are referrals and provide free rehabilitation services to children and home-based rehabilitation through mobile services.

Response to paragraph 19 (f) of the list of issues prior to submission

110.To facilitate full inclusion of children with disabilities in all areas, the policy is inclusiveness in all aspects and the non-discrimination principle rules. All services provided, such as recreation, leisure, play, culture and community-based care are based on the four child rights outlined in the 2015 National Child Policy, Child Survival, Child Development, Child Participation, and Child Protection Rights.

111.The State Party has taken the measures to facilitate full inclusion in all play, leisure and recreation, among them are the training of coaches in disability sports, formation of sports clubs for children in schools and funding the National Paralympic Committee of Zambia. It is also encouraging formation of parent-to-parent clubs in communities to create opportunities for parents of children with disabilities to participate in the rehabilitation of children with disabilities.

G.Basic health and welfare (arts. 6, 18 (3), 24, 26, 27 (1)–(3) and 33)

Health and health services

Response to paragraph 20 of the list of issues prior to submission

112.The State Party provides update on the implementation of the social health insurance scheme as follows: The National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) has been established under the Insurance Act No. 2 of 2018, with the mandate to spearhead universal healthcare coverage through the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The mandate includes, providing access to insured quality health care services through strategic purchasing arrangements with accredited public and private health facilities. It covers economically active people in the formal and informal sector. Those exempted from making contributions include the mentally ill, disabled, those above 65years of age and dependents below 18 years old. The scheme has been rolled out to all the 116 districts of the state with 886,571 members seated, which is 89% of the targeted 1,000,000.

Response to paragraph 20 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

113.In eradicating under-five mortality and eliminating stunting the State Party wishes to report that there has been a reduction in under five mortality, the 2018 ZDHS shows the reduction from 75 deaths per 1000 live births to 61 deaths per 1000 live births in the 2014–2018 period. Child Mortality Rate (CMR) declined from 31deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 to 19 deaths in 2018. This improvement is attributed to programmes such as the most critical 1000 days and increased immunization coverage, which rose from 68% to 75% in a period 2014 to 2018. These are financed from different sources including Government revenue, Health Insurance and funding from partners.

114.Further, there has been the scaling up nutrition interventions through a multisectoral approach with the goal of reducing stunting among under five children. Improvements in stunting rates have been recorded from 40% in 2013/14 to 35% in 2018 (ZDHS) as indicated by the graph below:

Response to paragraph 20 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

115.To ensure access to quality health services and personnel, the State Party through the National Health Strategic Plan (2017–2021), addresses the challenges of critical shortages of health workers, equitable distribution of available workers and quality health services. Efforts have been undertaken to strengthen human resource management, planning, and administration at all levels and continues to expand the health workforce as and when the overall resources framework allows. There has been an increase in the enrolment of students and the use of an equitable system in the enrolment of nurses and clinical officers among provinces. The State Party also promotes retention of health workers especially in the rural areas. A total of 4000 health workers were recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic.

116.On quality health personnel the State Party has initiated a number of programmes to build capacity for the health personnel with the view to improve the quality of health service provision to the citizens. In addition, a unit for quality improvement and assurance has been created to address improvement in the quality of health services provision.

Response to paragraph 20 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

117.On revising the legislation on regulating marketing practices of Breast milk Substitutes, the State Party in consultation with stakeholders, has embarked on revising the Code (SI 48 of 2006) to improve lacunas in some clauses of the SI. The process is still on-going. The revision proposes redefining breastmilk substitute, which is too broad, and to insist that the marketing of Breast-milk substitutes should include readable labels on the contain, contents and quantities in the substitute should be indicated against those of breast milk and that manufacturers should indicate that breastmilk is superior among others.

118.On raising awareness, the State Party wishes to report that it has been promoting the programme of exclusive breast feeding for 6 months were mothers are encouraged to give their infants’ breast milk as opposed to milk formulas. The subject is part of the Health and Nutrition education provided to mothers as they interact with health personnel and community health volunteers. Every year, Zambia joins other nations to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week – a weeklong event of activities on breastfeeding awareness.

Response to paragraph 20 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

119.On eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and eradicate new infections, the State Party wishes to report that it has put in place programmes aimed at reducing EMTCT and eradicating new infections which includes among others, HIV testing and counselling, including couple HIV testing and counselling before and during antenatal care, retesting of pregnant women in high prevalence settings to rule out new HIV infections during pregnancy and enhanced community awareness and facility-based identification of pregnant women not yet enrolled in ANC, especially adolescents who feel stigmatized.

120.The estimated new HIV infections in all ages stood at 51,000 per year as at December 2019. Young people, especially adolescent girls and young women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for just over one third of new HIV infections. Huge gender differentials for new HIV infections exists among adolescent, Girls 6800 and Boys 1900.

121.In addition, the State Party has been promoting interventions that serve to improve the overall health of adolescents and young person’s, which include, awareness raising on HIV/AIDs and safe sex practices and increasing the number of health facilities providing HIV services through capacity building of health workers and improving infrastructure and commodity availability and increased Community engagement to address factors facilitating risky sexual behaviour and strengthening collaboration.

Adolescent health

Response to paragraph 21 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

122.On provision of free and safe abortion services to girls, the State Party developed standards and guidelines for Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) in 2019. The goal is to standardise provision of safe abortion services and provide guidance on who can access services and where the services can be accessed from. These guidelines have so far been disseminated in all the 10 provinces and training materials have been developed for health care providers to ensure that they have adequate knowledge and skills to provide CAC services to both adolescent girls and women. Training has since started and the pool of providers for CAC services has improved.

123.To ensure quality of services being provided, Service Quality Assessment (SQA) and mentorship tools for CAC have been developed and facilities providing services are regularly monitored to ensure that the services they are providing meet the required standards. CAC services are part of the Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services being provided to girls and women of reproductive age, and are free at all public institutions and are available on request. Additionally, there is the process of revising the Reproductive Health Policy in order to include emerging issues, including emphasis on reproductive health rights and choices that encamps access to safe abortion.

Response to paragraph 21 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

124.To ensure comprehensive, age-appropriate education on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), the State Party has developed guidelines and curriculum on Compressive Sexual Reproductive Health for in school and out of school adolescents and youth. This information has also been included in both primary and secondary school curriculum and is examinable. Schools have identified guidance teachers who work hand in hand with Health staff to ensure that girls in learning institutions have access to SRH services. The existence of youth safe spaces in health facilities provides services such as use of contraceptives for prevention of teenage pregnancies, condoms use to prevent HIV and STIs infections, treatment services for sexually transmitted infections are also provided to adolescents and youths.

125.Diverse interventions are being employed to increase health literacy among adolescents which include among others, the development of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials, interpersonal communication through trained peer educators at health facility level and during outreaches to schools and communities and the training of health workers in adolescent health.

Response to paragraph 20 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

126.In addressing the incidence of drug, alcohol and tobacco use, the State Party wishes to report that drug, alcohol and tobacco use is being addressed the through a nationwide sensitization on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. The State Party is in the process of formulating a robust Tobacco and Nicotine Products Control Bill which once signed into law is expected to significant boost tobacco control use and secondary tobacco exposure in the country, the National Tobacco Control Strategic Plan 2021 to 2026 is still in draft form. The State Party also implements a Family/Parenting Skills Training programme to equip parents and guardians in better parenting especially in communication skills, conflict resolution as well as drug abuse prevention strategies.

127.The Liquor Licensing Act No. 20 of 2011 regulates the manufacture, possession, sale and supply of intoxicating liquor. Further, it prohibits the sale of liquor to children and the employment of children in bars. Business houses by law are not allowed to sell alcohol, drugs and tobacco to those below the age of 18. Tobacco producing companies are required to warn consumers on the danger of consuming their products. There has been the declaration that schools are tobacco, alcohol and substance free zones.

Environmental health

Response to paragraph 22 of the list of issues prior to submission

128.The State Party through the World Bank is co-financing the ZMERIP, focusing on reducing environmental health risks associated with toxic exposure to lead affected population. The project administration is under Kabwe Municipal Council using the decentralised system and Health focal point persons have been designated to oversee the implementation of the Project.

129.In implementing the clean-up of the lead contamination, at the Mine Primary School where soil lead levels were above 1500 ppm, the soil has been remediated and a wall fence constructed to reduce bio-availability to lead to children at the school. Further, engineering designs and environmental studies have been done to support environmental infrastructure which include voluntary on-site remediation, which sets the stage for works commencing in 2021.

130.The works will support remediation campaign and help reduce lead levels in Kabwe overtime. In order to address the consequences of lead contamination in Kabwe on children’s health, the State Party through the World Bank Funded ZMERIP project had commenced Blood lead level testing and treatment of children below 14 years in April 2020, so far over 7, 900 children have been tested and nearly 1000 are on Che Lation therapy which is being administered through local health facilities. The State Party has procured drugs to support the treatment of affected children in Kabwe, four Lead Analysers for local clinics related test kits to support the treatment campaign, and food supplements to suppress lead levels in children.

131.In addition, there has been the installation Equipment for lead monitoring at the school of Veterinary Medicine, UNZA which was commissioned on 14 August 2019. Further, Remediation will be conducted alongside treatment to avoid recontamination.

Standard of living

Response to paragraph 23 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

132.In efforts to decrease child poverty, the State Party launched the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) in 2015, which is anchored on Social Insurance, Protection, Empowerment/Livelihood and Social Assistance. The implementation of the policy has seen an increase in coverage in Social Cash Transfer scheme with an average of K1, 377.00 ($51) or K2, 142.00 ($102) (PWD households) annually for 632,327 beneficiary households. The beneficiaries include female-headed households keeping at least three children and child-headed households. The State Party has expanded the provision of Social Cash Transfers to households in extreme poverty, in 2014 the programme only covered 38 districts, in 2019 the programme expanded to all the 116 districts in the country.

133.Households not covered under the SCT programme, are supported through other social protection programmes which include support to vulnerable farmers, women, girls and school children. As a result of the integrated nature of the response, there has been a reduction in the multi-dimensional poverty index from 50% in 2016 to 44% in 2020, comparative statistics between rural/urban shows a decline from 69% in 2016 to 59% in 2020 and from 25% to 18% respectively. It is the intention of the State Party to continue increasing coverage and respective amounts for maximum benefits and subsequently reduce extreme poverty and intergenerational transfer of poverty.

Response to paragraph 23 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

134.On adequate expenditure for children, the State Party wishes to report that it has ensured that resources are prioritized to critical sectors such as education, health and social protection and funds meant for children in general and vulnerable children in particular are rein fenced to ensure that funds benefiting children are not interrupted, despite the economic and social challenges that the country has been experiencing, which includes external and internal debts servicing and the negative impact of climate change that has seen the country’s reduced electricity generation from hydro-power station due to reduced water levels.

Response to paragraph 23 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

135.On improvement of the access to water, sanitation and hygiene, the State Party wishes to report that the 2018 (ZDHS) shows that 72% of households (92% urban/58% rural) obtain drinking water from an improved source, representing a 7% improvement from 65% (90% urban/47% rural) reported in the 2013–14 ZDHS. On Sanitation, the 2018 ZDHS shows 54% (78% urban/37% rural) households have access to improved sanitation facilities compared to 25% (35% urban/195 rural) as reported in the 2013–2014 ZDHS, representing an improvement of 29% between 2014 and 2018.

136.Further, the State Party has programmes targeting schools such as, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASHE), where boreholes have been sunk for schools which are far from water reticulation systems and improved pit latrine have been set up to improve sanitation. Another programme for girl children in schools is menstrual hygiene, girls are provided with free sanitary pads, especially girls in rural areas. A study to understand factors affecting Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) practices among girls in rural schools has been conducted and the findings were used to inform the formulation of the MHM package consisting of National Guidelines and a Toolkit.

Response to paragraph 23 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

137.On the coverage and management of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme, the State Party wishes to report that the SCT started in 2003 as a pilot covering only one district, at present the programme covers all the 116 districts, in all 10 provinces. The total number of households benefiting from this programme stands at 632 327 households, 8 364 are child-headed, who have been reached with this support. The total number of children reached through this programme stands at 1, 152, 012.

138.The target are elderly, female-headed and child-headed households which are enrolled in this programme. For an efficient and effective way of reaching out to the beneficiaries, the programme is providing mobile phones and is utilizing the mobile money and voucher services to pay beneficiaries.

Impact of climate change on the rights of the child

Response to paragraph 24 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

139.On reducing deforestation and land degradation, the State Party is among the 121 participating parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that has endorsed target 15.3 of the SDGs and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) as a strong vehicle for driving the implementation of the Convention. To this effect, the State Party has been implementing a number of programmes which includes, among others the REDD+ project through which over 700 hectares of land has been protected, development of the Forest Investment Plan, which aims at encouraging communities to protect community forests in accordance with the Forests Act No. 4 of 2015 and the implementation of the Assisted Natural Regeneration project, where communities have been trained in the benefits of forest management.

140.The State Party has been promoting Climate Smart Agriculture and Conservation Agriculture which are key approaches and technologies respectively that are aimed at helping small scale farmers become resilient to effects and impacts of climate change. This will ensure maximum production despite the extreme weather events experienced and enable small scale farmers have an income from their produce.

141.There have also been other projects such as the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFLP) being implemented in Eastern Province whose aim is to enhance forest Management. This allows the beneficiaries to better manage the resources of their landscapes so as to reduce deforestation, and increase environmental and economic benefits for targeted rural communities.

Response to paragraph 24 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

142.On mitigating food, water and energy insecurity the State Party through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is present to mitigate the impact of climate change in collaboration with other partners in the construction of dams, boreholes and water facilities, Sensitization activities, appointment of child ambassadors/ champions of climate change, establishment of school clubs and inclusion of Climate change in school curriculums. DMMU and the Metrological Department has come up with an early warning system to aid climate risk planning. Through climate change informed extension services, farmers are being advised to diversify from livestock and crop production, to grow drought tolerant crops and invest in goat rearing as an adaptation intervention.

143.On Protection of water resources, the State Party has undertaken measures to safeguard water resources, which includes designation of water bodies as wetlands. Eight wetlands have been designated as provided for under various international conventions on the protection of the environment. An exercise of identification and mapping of Water Resources Protection areas has been undertaken to ensure that water sources and land adjacent to water sources are not adulterated in the name of development. The protection of these water bodies will contribute to increased socio economic development and improve people’s livelihoods including children.

144.On energy, the State Party is promoting sustainable initiatives such as renewable energy which has seen the country diversify its energy mix from 99% reliance on hydro power production in 2011 to 80.6% in 2019. Solar energy currently accounts for about 90MW (3% of the total energy). Climate smart agriculture, water harvesting techniques and green infrastructure, are part of the climate change adaptation interventions.

Response to paragraph 24 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

145.On informing the population about the negative impacts of climate change, the State Party has been implementing climate change awareness activities as guided by the National Climate Change Communication and Advocacy Strategy that was developed in 2012. In view of developments in the policy and institutional environment on Climate change, the State Party is revising the communication strategy to respond to information needs of different sections of society including children.

Response to paragraph 24 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

146.On empowering children to adapt to climate change, the State Party through the Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Department has developed the National Climate Change Learning Strategy (2020), which aims to build capacities of individuals and institutions in climate change. Its approach is tailored to local context and includes a range of options, including: the infusion of climate change throughout the wider curriculum (integrated in to a variety of subject matters at all levels); using standalone climate change learning products as a compliment to the existing curriculum in specific subjects; and integrating climate change teaching into extra-curricular activities. Education activities both within schools and with the wider community are a cornerstone of this collective approach.

147.The education curriculum in schools has been revised to include issues of climate change. This development allows children to learn about environmental protection and sustainable developments. Children in schools and other settings are encouraged to come up with environmentally sustainable projects. This is done through the Inter-schools’ competition whose aim is to integrate environmental management in the learning system. Implementation of this strategy will entail that climate change information, knowledge and skills are imparted to the learners at all levels of education.

H.Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28–31)


Response to paragraph 25 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

148.On promoting access to and enrolment in early child-care and education, the State Party has established 493 low cost ECE satellite centres using the community model in all the provinces through a system of a hub controlling a number of ECE satellite centres. This is mainly applied in rural and hard to reach communities. This low-cost model has improved access for children to early learning. ECE personnel are trained on the use of the local materials in the provision of ECE activities.

Response to paragraph 25 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

149.On ensuring that primary and secondary education is free, the free primary education policy of 2002 is still in effect. In addition, all primary schools seeking to undertake projects in partnership with the community have been asked to seek for authority from Head office to avoid unnecessary costs on the learners. The provision of secondary education is done on cost-sharing. The committee may wish to note that the State Party has continued to minimize the cost of education on the part of the parents/guardians as seen in the issuance of a circular on User Fees in Grant Aided and Public Schools in January 2019, which provided guidance on standardized fees to be charged across all public and grant aided institutions.

Response to paragraph 25 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

150.On prevention of early school leaving, the State Party undertook the review of the Re-entry policy in 2010 so as to provide clarity to the policy. This has seen more girls take advantage of the policy by going back to school. Further, the policy has been significant to combat child marriage. For instance, in 2019, the State Party recorded 11,502 pregnancies and 5,669 were readmitted at Primary level while at secondary 4,222 pregnancies and 3,158 were readmitted. In addition, the State Party in 2016 introduced the programme called Keeping Girls in School (KGS) which, aims at helping girls remain in schools through the provision of bursaries. This consequently, delays marriage and in the long run helps eradicate child marriage.

151.To enhance pupil attendance and nutrition among pre and primary school learners, the State Party has continued funding the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in all the provinces and districts. The programme is run with technical support from World Food Programme (WFP) and is being implemented in 66 Districts, benefiting 1,948,130 learners. It has also partnered with Mary’s Meals an international NGO feeding approximately 248,914 learners in 7 districts of Eastern Province. Further, in order to add nutritional value and good health, all schools also practice gardening and agriculture production units.

152.The guidance and counselling teachers implement Guidance and Counselling program in schools to help guide the learners’ academic, behavioural and social growth. The teachers provide psychological support to marginalised learners such as learners with Special Education Needs and Disabilities and others ensuring that they are not stigmatised and discriminated. In addition, they help learners deal with emerging and contemporary issues such School related Gender Based Violence, Re-Entry Issues and Substance abuse. They manage the Grievance Redressing Mechanism and the Referral Pathways at school level and report by completing the Annual Guidance Forms and submit to the district.

Response to paragraph 25 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

153.On increasing transition to and retention of children, the State Party wishes to report that under the Zambian Enhancement Education Project (ZEEP) with support from the World Bank is constructing82-day secondary schools in 7 provinces, in order to achieve an increase in transition to and retention of learners. Out of 82 secondary schools, 10 have weekly boarding facilities for girls. Approximately 18,450 Learners, 50% of which are female, are targeted in this project. The project aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics and science in targeted primary and secondary schools and to increase equitable access to secondary education.

154.The State Party has also launched the KGS initiative to increase access to secondary education for girls in poor households under social cash transfer schedule. The specific objective of KGS is to provide school fees to over 14,000 girls from social cash transfer households accessing secondary education in sixteen (16) selected districts across the ten provinces of Zambia. In 2019, the target for the learners was exceeded in that 16, 160 girls were being paid for against the project targeted of 14,000. This achievement was due to the reduction in school fees by the State party.

155.The State Party established a partnership with Promoting Equity in African Schools (PEAS) in 2018. Through this arrangement, one boarding secondary school was constructed in Kasama district (Kampinda secondary school) which became operational in 2018. This school caters for 437 learners of which 240 are girls and 197 are boys.

Response to paragraph 25 (e) of the list of issues prior to submission

156.In advancing the quality of education and improving educational outcome, the State Party wishes to report that it has been implementing reforms on teacher’s specialization in subjects at primary school since 2019. This will result in effectiveness in teaching and learning and improving in quality and learning outcomes as teachers will be required to specialize in their area of comparative competence and interest. In addition, the State Party through the ZEEP has been conducting capacity building for teachers of Mathematics and Science to address the low learning outcomes of the two subjects while ensuring that Teaching and learning Materials to support the project are also being procured.

157.There has been an achievement in the attainment of gender parity in enrolment at primary school level. In 2016, 89% of eligible girls and 90% of eligible boys were enrolled in primary school. In 2019, enrolment declined slightly, but there were more girls (89%) enrolled than boys (85%). However, after primary school, the transition rate at secondary school level declines with the transition from Grade 8–Grade 9 for females from 91.8% in 2016 to 70.6% in 2019, while that of males declined from 88.4% 2016 to 68.2% 2019. There was a higher percentage (57%) of males transitioning from Grade 9 to Grade 10 than females (49%). In 2018, the national average dropout rate from Grade 1 to 7 was 1.7%, compared to 1.2% from Grade 8 to 12.

158.At primary school level, there were more girls (1.9%) dropping out of school compared to boys (1.4%). Similarly, more girls (1.7%) than boys (0.7%) dropped out at secondary school level. In 2018, completion rate for primary education stood at 97.3%, while at junior and senior secondary stood at 87.7% and 36%, respectively.

Rest, leisure, recreation and cultural and artistic activities

Response to paragraph 26 of the list of issues prior to submission

159.The State Party wishes to report that sports, recreation, leisure and artistic activity are an integral part of the school curriculum for children in formal education system. The local authorities are mandated to provide recreation, sport and leisure in the various local communities. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development has programmes such as community sport and creation of safe spaces for children. Under these programmes the ministry trains local sports volunteers and sports administrator’s and also provide sports and recreation equipment for local communities. Cultural and arts festivals are also held starting from community to the national level with the aim of promoting cultural identity in various settings. There are also various mark days such as the day of African child and the Refugee day where children such as migrants and refugee are encouraged to display their cultural heritage.

I.Special protection measures (arts. 22, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37 (b)–(d) and 38–40)

Asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children

Response to paragraph 27 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

160.The State Party working in collaboration with International Organization for Migration (IOM) has set up guidelines on handling of asylum seeking, refugee and migrant children. Best interest determination panels have been in districts that have high cases of child migrant. Frontline workers such as immigration officers, police child protection officers, social workers and the magistrate have been trained in best interest determination for child migrants’ refugees and asylum seekers using the child’s rights approach. The written procedures included screening of vulnerable Children using case management tools to identify the type of trafficking and as well as identifying the category of the vulnerable groups.

161.The State Party has established a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for the provision of assistance to migrant children, this has assisted in referral process and establishment of appropriate interventions for vulnerable migrants. The referral mechanism provides guidance on the immediate, short term and long terms of identified victims and the actors that can assist in the provision of interventions. Case management assists further to identify the risks involved to ensure that protection and safety. The NRM was revised to include voluntary returnees. The victims were able to receive health care, education support, counselling, shelter, repatriation, reintegration and empowerment.

Response to paragraph 27 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

162.To ensure children are not detained because of their migration status, the State Party has trained 179 frontline Officers in Mixed migration and trafficking in persons, identifying vulnerable migrants and providing protection and assistance. The State Party has four (4) operational places of safety in Chongwe, Sesheke, Mansa and Chipata.

Economic exploitation, including child labour

Response to paragraph 28 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

The measures taken are:

163.The State Party has been addressing issues of Child Labour through legislations and policy formulation, which provides a framework pertaining to the special protection measures on economic exploitation and child labour, the enactment of the Employment Code Act No. 3 of 2019 and the formulation of the National Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour’ 2020 (still in draft form).

164.In addition, the State party collaborates with State and non-state actors to undertake projects to fight Child labour in the communities through the District Child Labour Committees (DCLC) and the Community Child Labour Committees (CCLC). The prime objective of these interventions is to ensure children withdrawn from child labour are enrolled in the education system. Further, community Child Labour Committees (CCLCs) also conduct child labour monitoring in their respective communities to ensure that children are not involved in form of child labour.

165.At national level, the National Child Labour Steering Committee (NCLSC) coordinates child labour activities and provides yardsticks on policy formulation and implementation.

Response to paragraph 28 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

166.At micro level, the State Party through the department of labour in selected districts has been working to promote workers’ rights and decent work by ensuring compliance with labour laws in order to promote harmonious industrial relations and fight against child and forced labour in the two districts. The department coordinated an ILO/DCLC rapid assessment meeting on decent work deficits in September 2019 and will be implementing a project on social justice and decent work deficits and look into child labour monitoring system, child labour mainstreaming and raise awareness.

Children in street situations

Response to paragraph 29 of the list of issues prior to submission

167.The State party wishes to report that working in collaboration with stakeholders has put in place programmes to address the plight of children living on and off the street to include: Removal, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of children in street situation – This is done with Child Protection Officers (police), street educators’ organizations who are trained in children’s rights, they conduct street outreach programmes educating the children on the vices in the streets. The children when removed from the streets are taken to shelters for screening and treatment for those that found with various diseases. Home tracing is then conducted to access the condition of the homes where these children come from. Provision of services such as education through provision of school bursaries is provided to those children that express willingness to go back to school. Those that are opt for skills trainings are provided for an opportunity to undergo life skills training in agriculture, mechanics, bricklaying and plastering, carpentry and joinery and catering among others. These skills are only given to children above 15 years old. During the period 2012–2018 4,400 children were removed from the streets countrywide out of which 75% (3150) are boys and 25% (1050) girls.

168.Empowerment of families of children on the street – Under this program guardians and parents of children living on and off of the street are identified and provided with skills in income generating activities. Upon completion of the training these guardians and parents are provided with startup capital to start income generating activities to supplement the livelihood of their families, to help keep the children off the street. Social cash transfer – The department of social welfare provide monthly financial support to vulnerable households and child headed households. Families and guardians of children living on and off the street are beneficiaries of this program.

Administration of child justice

Response to paragraph 30 of the list of issues prior to submission

169.On the measures to operationalize the specialized court, the State party wishes to report that Subsidiary legislation has been enacted to give the Family and Children’s Court jurisdiction over the following areas of law: Divorce Petitions; Petitions for judicial separation; Custody disputes; Applications for maintenance; Applications relating to wilful neglect to maintain Applications relating to property adjustment; Adoptions; Applications under the Legitimacy Act; Intestate Succession Disputes; Wills and Administration of estates; Affiliation and adoption orders; and All family and child related appeals from Subordinate Courts. Under this enactment, no distinction has been made between the Family Court and Children’s Court. For administrative purposes and due to the lack of funds for two separate courts, the courts will be dealt with as a single court. There is further discussion to create designated children’s courts at subordinate court level but the legal framework for this is non-existent at the moment.

170.The Family Division currently has no establishment. However, it is headed by a Judge-in-charge appointed by the Chief Justice to operationalize the court. One judge was recently appointed to the division but the bulk of cases are assigned to High Court Judges from the General List to hear and determine matters under the Family and Children’s Division. However at least 40% of the cases are adjudged by the Judge-in-Charge. Because the Family Division requires legislation to facilitate its operation, the process of drafting several pieces of legislation commenced in the year 2017 but has since not been concluded by the Ministry of Justice. The Court has also been engaged in the review of family and child related legislation with the Zambia Law Development Commission and the Ministry of Justice. The purpose of this is to harmonise the various pieces of legislation in Family and Children Law. The Division has also embarked on a process of introducing family and children registries in several districts across the country. This is because there is need for the family court to operate beyond the practical geographical limits of being stationed only at the Lusaka High court. Plans are underway to appoint more judges for the court in the course of the year 2021 and to undertake further activities such as training of adjudicators to facilitate the operationalisation of the court.

Response to paragraph 30 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

The measures taken to implement previous recommendations are

171.On raising the age for criminal responsibility, the State Party wishes to report that the Child Code Bill, which has consolidated the various pieces of child related legislation and adopted relevant provisions of the united nations convention of the rights of the child (UNCRC) has now reached its final stage and planned to be presented before parliament at the next sitting of February, 2021. Notably, the bill has provided for an upward adjustment to the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 8 years to 12 years. The bill has further criminalized child marriage and expressly provides for protection against child labour, from abuse and maltreatment as well as the emerging vice of online sexual exploitation. The child code bill has designed a specific part on child rights to fill the gap in the constitution. This part spells out the rights of the child and provides for responsibility and accountability towards the promotion and protection of these rights.

Response to paragraph 30 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

172.On ensuring that children have access to free legal counsel, the State Party wishes to report that the coming into force of the Children’s Code will give rise to the requirement for children to be represented by legal counsel. The Legal Aid Board provides free legal services to vulnerable including children. Legal Practitioners affiliated to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) are encouraged to do pro bono services, which is a requirement for practicing lawyers and those under training to provide free legal services to vulnerable people. Presently, the department of social welfare has officers who are gazetted by law to appear with children in court but these do not represent the child before the courts. They are responsible for producing a social welfare report for every child appearing before a court of law.

173.On a positive note, Article 133 (2) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 has established divisions of the High Court which include Children’s Court. This is a progressive step as it allows for specialized attention to children’s issues in relation to the administration of justice. It is envisaged that the extension of legal aid services to the Children’s Court will ensure that children obtain free legal counsel.

Response to paragraph 30 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

174.On ensuring that children are not detained with adults, the State Party wishes to report that as part of the national wide legal reforms of the justice system in general and the juvenile justice system in particular, the state has embarked upon an exercise of building and equipping detention facilities for children that come into conflict with the law. These facilities are equipped with beddings, mattresses and other necessities for child friendliness. Detention facilities with sections for children are not permitted to mix child offenders with adults. Where the separation of children from adults’ offenders is not planned for, the officers are under instruction to find alternative rooms for a purpose of keeping child offenders.

Response to paragraph 30 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

175.On ending over-use of detention in pre-trial and post-trail procedures, the State party wishes to report that in implementing the principle of ‘detention, a measure of last resort’ the State Party piloted the National Diversion Programme (NDF) in December 2018. The NDF sets out the scope, criteria, process and options for the use of diversion in Zambia and is aimed at assisting state and non-state actors to respond to child offenders by way of diversion. The programme has been adopted widely by role players, including the Police Service, National Prosecution Authority (NPA), and the diverting bodies. The Courts have adapted to their role, making Orders that avail children to Diversion measures and now rarely give custodial orders, unless under compelling circumstances. Pre-trial diversion has become an accepted mechanism of keeping children away from the criminal justice system and its inherent trauma. The Child Justice Forum through the collaborative implementation with member institutions has undertaken on-going trainings and orientations to build the capacity or child justice institutions.

Child victims and witnesses of crimes

Response to paragraph 31 of the list of issues prior to submission

176.The State Party wishes to report that it has established places of safety to care of the welfare of child victims and child witnesses in cases of child abuse. This has been done in order to ensure that the case of victims they are removed from the abusive environment and away from perpetrators. They are strict confidentiality among staffs involved. The where about of child victim is only disclosed on the basis of a need to know. Only trained officers are allowed to handle and come into contact of both child victim and child witnesses. The names of children involved are also not disclosed. The court set up is also done in a child friendly manner. Both the child victim and a child witness do not come into contact with their perpetrators and victim. The court proceedings are held in closed chambers. The State party in collaboration with state and non-state actors are currently Developing Guidelines for Child Victims and Witnesses and a Technical Working Group has been formed and the Human Rights Commission is a member.

III.Statistical information and data

A.General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44 (6))

Response to paragraph 34 of the list of issues prior to submission

177.The State Party wishes to report on its commitment to the social sectors in the 2020 budget, in spite of the challenging fiscal conditions and downward trend in economic growth. In a quest to address high levels of vulnerability, the State Party has been implementing programmes in support of social protection, including the Social Cash Transfer scheme (SCT), the Food Security Pack (FSP) and Public Welfare Assistance System (PWAS). The SCT programme has been subject to a further budgetary allocation increase in 2020. The social protection and water and sanitation budgets have increased nominally by 18% and 32% respectively. However, both functions suffered from partial budgetary execution performance in 2019.

178.The State Party continued to make progress in the health sector, particularly in health infrastructure and human resources for health. This has yielded considerable improvements in the health outcomes of women and children as evidenced in the indicators released in the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey. Although allocations to the health sector increased by 16% in nominal terms, as a share of the total budget it has reduced from 9.3% to 8.8%, falling short of the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) target of 13% annually. The education budget nominally reduced from K13.2 billion in 2019 to K13.1 billion. As a share of the total budget, the education budget represents 12% of the total budget compared to 15% in 2019.

179.The State Party wishes to report that the current fiscal constraints have affected social sector spending more than any other function of government. In 2019, K1.7 billion budgets were approved for social benefits, only K141 million or 8% of the approved budget for the year was released by June 2019. Additionally, the social sector budget as a share of the total budget has been on the decline and moved from 29.6% in 2018, 29.4% in 2019 to 26.1% in 2020.

180.On the financing of the Seventh National Development Implementation Plan (2017–2021), the State Party wishes to report that the SDGs have been mainstreamed into 7th National Development Plan to the extent of 75% of the SDGs of applicable targets being fully aligned and 11% being partially aligned. To facilitate realisation of the gains made since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the State Party has continued to allocate human, financial, and institutional resources. Substantial public investment has gone into the social sectors to address extreme poverty and vulnerability as well as promote human capital development.

181.In particular the total cost for implementing the programme outputs outlined in the Seventh National Development Implementation Plan is estimated at K173 billion. The distribution of the total cost according to the five Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) of the Plan is:

(a)Economic Diversification and Job Creation – K120.6 billion – 70%;

(b)Enhancing Human Development – K25.2 billion –14.5%;

(c)Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction – K9.9 billion 6%;

(d)Reducing Developmental Inequalities – K12.3 billion – 7%; and

(e)Creating a Conducive Governance Environment – K5 billion 3%.

B.Definition of the child (art. 1)

Response to paragraph 35 of the list of issues prior to submission

182.The number and proportion of children under 18 years of age living in the State party, and the number of girls and boys under 18 who are married as provided in the 2018 ZDHS are as follows; out of 3000 women respondents 14.4% are married and 0.2% are living together compared to 1.1% married men and 0.0% living together respectively. The table below provides figures showing women are the most affected. The overall percentage of women is 14.6% compared to 1.1% of men.

Current marital status

Percent distribution of women and men age 15 – 19 by current marital status, according to age, Zambia DHS 2018


Marital status


Percentage of respondents currently in union

Number of respondents

Never married


Living together





15 – 19









3 000


15 – 19









2 781

183.The 2020 population projection shows, the State Party is likely to experience a marginal increase in the difference between the number of boys and that of the girls.

Population by sex and age (single age) 2020 projection


Age (Single Years)

Both Sexes




678 359

342 919

335 440


646 609

325 999

320 610


622 829

313 728

309 101


602 212

303 135

299 077


583 231

293 450

289 781


567 413

285 403

282 010


553 929

278 525

275 404


540 313

271 541

268 772


526 591

264 488

262 103


512 972

257 485

255 487


497 810

249 592

248 218


482 464

241 832

240 632


463 687

232 301

231 386


444 379

222 715

221 664


426 325

213 816

212 509


409 155

205 319

203 836


393 277

197 354

195 923


380 254

190 664

189 590


9 331 809

4 690 266

4 641 543

C.General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)

Response to paragraph 36 of the list of issues prior to submission

184.The State Party wishes to report that through its Human Rights Commission, it continues to record cases of human rights violations and abuse relating to children. On average more than 70 cases were recorded in the years 2015, 2018 and 2019. Most of the cases involved abuse by family members and were resolved through mediation and conciliation measures as a way of maintaining and sustaining family relations.


No. of Complaints Received by HRC

Complaints Related to Children ’ s rights





1 167



1 093


Source : Human Rights Commission annual reports for 2015, 2018 & 2019 .

D.Civil rights and freedoms (arts. 7, 8 and 13–17)

Response to paragraph 37 of the list of issues prior to submission

185.The State Party wishes to report that there are no statistics on the number of people who are stateless.

E.Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)

Response to paragraph 38 of the list of issues prior to submission

186.The table below provides the statistics on cases reported on various forms of violence against children. For example, in the first quarter of 2020; the Zambia Police Service stated that they had recorded a total number of 633 cases of child defilement representing 12.5 % of the total number of cases of Gender Based Violence, out of which 630 were girls while three were boys compared to the 2019 First Quarter statistics in which 495 cases were recorded translating to 8.9%. However, during 2019, all victims were girls.

187.The table below shows the various forms of violence against children in the period 2017–2019, defilement remains the most common form of violence, followed by assault on children. The other forms are minimal. There has been a rise in violence against children given the number of cases that are reported, prosecuted and the convictions.

Response to paragraph 38 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

188.The State Party wishes to report that through the One Stop Centres (OSC) child victims are provided with remedies. The OSC model is an interprofessional, health-system based centre that provides survivor-centred health services alongside some combination of social, legal, police and/or shelter services to survivors of VAC. Quality health services for children/adolescents who have experienced or are at risk of violence with appropriate, timely, child-friendly and gender-sensitive care and services that address their safety, health and social needs and ensure access to justice. The services offered included Medical examination & treatment, PEP, Pregnancy testing & emergency contraception, Forensic evidence collection, Medical report, Investigations and follow up of cases, Legal advice and support, Security and safety, general, family and child counselling, Reintegration of family and community, and referrals to place of safety.

189.The benefits for the victim are that there is a reduced number of survivor interviews, more services provided at one place, Higher quality care, Confidential data management & information systems, Network of multidisciplinary survivor services and increased multisectoral coordination at OSC with a greater accessibility of OSC services. There is also an enhanced health and wellbeing of survivors and a decreased survivor traumatisation and mitigation effects of violence. The State party has 65 OSC spread across the provinces.

F.Family environment and alternative care (arts. 5, 9–11, 18 (1) and (2), 20, 21, 25 and 27 (4))

Response to paragraph 39 of the list of issues prior to submission

190.The State Party wishes to report that the SCT started in 2003 as a pilot covering only one district, at present the programme covers all the 116 districts, in all 10 provinces. The total number of households benefiting from this programme stands at 632 327 households, 8 364 are child-headed, who have been reached with this support. The total number of children reached through this programme stands at 1, 152, 012.

Response to paragraph 40 of the list of issues prior to submission

191.The State Party wishes to report that the table below seeks to highlight the number of children in institutional care. The number of children in family- and community-based care; 39. There are 5,394 (2,789 males and 2,605 females) children living in 177 Child Care facilities. The average number of days of stay vary from facility to facility and case by case. However, it has been noted that most children over stay in the facilities and this has prompted government to introduce strict measures to ensure that facilities improve their case management processes and facilitate for the reintegration of children who have families and make placement decisions with Social Welfare Department for children without parental care. According to the Nationwide Assessment (2016) of Child Care facilities, 67% of the children in institutional care are placed by their families.

Age Group

Brought Forward

New Placements/Cases

Total handled







Under 1 year







1–4 years







5–9 years







10–18 years

1 624




1 653

1 487

19 & over








2 715

2 520



2 789

2 605

Response to paragraph 40 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

192.The State Party wishes to report that there are still gaps in management information system on children in family and community-based care, except those transitioning from institutional care to family/community-based care. Therefore, it is still working towards having a central information management system for children to enhance data collection and analysis on vulnerabilities and services to orphans and vulnerable children.

Response to paragraph 40 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

193.The State Party wishes to report on the number of children adopted domestically and internationally, of the figures, only a third are international adoptions.





















Grand total


Response to paragraph 40 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

194.The table below describes the number of children of incarcerated parents.

Circumstantial children







G.Children with disabilities (art. 23)

Response to paragraph 41 of the list of issues prior to submission

195.The State Party wishes to report that from 2018 to 2020, through ZAPD 605 families and children received financial and material support while 383 children received educational support giving the total of 988. The table below describes education support provided between 2011–2017.

Number of children with special needs (CSEN) pupils in all schools by sex and year from 2011 to 2018








Primary Schools


90 494

55 004

55 528

46 322

42 955

53 035

56 907


84 867

51 855

51 743

42 818

46 691

50 183

53 413


175 361

106 859

107 271

89 134

89 646

103 218

110 320

Secondary Schools


2 351



3 797

9 090

10 609

10 330


2 561



3 674

8 278

9 483

9 742


4 912



7 471

17 368

20 092

20 072

National Total

180 273

107 220

108 149

96 605

107 014

123 310

130 392

Source : Ministry of General Education Bulletin 2017 .

Response to paragraph 42 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

196.On the number of children with disabilities, the 2015 National Disability Survey estimated that 4.4% of children aged 2–17 had a disability and that the major cause of the disability was attributed to congenital/from birth (40.4%). In terms sex, the prevalence was slightly higher among males than females (4.5% and 4.2% respectively). Geographically, the percentage for urban areas was higher than rural areas (4.6% and 4.2& respectively). Prevalence of disability among children aged 2–17 by province, revealed that Luapula (7.3%), Copperbelt (5.0%), Lusaka (4.8%) and Northern (4.6%) had the highest while Western (2.7%), North-Western (3.3%) and Eastern (3.4%) had the least prevalence’s.

Response to paragraph 42 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

197.The tables below describes the number of children with disabilities living with their families.

Disabled children





















Households with disabled persons



Children 2 – 4 years



Children 5 – 17 years



Response to paragraph 42 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

198.The table below describes the number of children with disabilities living in institutional care. The State party wishes to report that the reasons for providing institutional care include parental abandonment, lack of extended family, poverty, inadequacy of organizations that provide home-based care (CBR).

Response to paragraph 42 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

199.The number of children in family- and community-based care is only derived from CBR/CBID and this informed the State that there is a total number of 1000 of children are benefiting from home-based care (CBR).

Response to paragraph 42 (e) of the list of issues prior to submission

200.The number of children with disabilities in inclusive education stands at 92.4% boys and 91.8% girls aged 12–17. The report also shows that 10.7% percent and 20.3% percent of the children with disabilities reported that the family had not applied for enrolment into primary and secondary schools respectively.

Response to paragraph 42 (f) of the list of issues prior to submission

201.The number of reported cases of violence, including sexual violence, against children with disabilities, the number of investigations and prosecutions carried out and the sentences issued.

H.Basic health and welfare (arts. 6, 18 (3), 24, 26, 27 (1)–(3) and 33)

Response to paragraph 43 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

202.According to ZDHS 2018 – the infant mortality rate was at 42 per 1000 live births, though it is slightly higher in rural (44 deaths per 1,000 live births) than in urban areas (41 deaths per 1,000 live births). Maternal mortality has continued to decline from 398 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013/2014 to 278 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018. The positive trend in maternal and child mortality are reflection interventions, which include, expedited development of human resources for health, and such other high impact interventions as Safe Motherhood Action Groups, community-based distributors, procurement of emergency obstetric and neonatal care among others.

Early childhood mortality rates

Neonatal, post neonatal, infant, child, and under-5 mortality rates for 5-year periods preceding the survey, Zambia DHS 2018

Neonatal, post neonatal, infant, child, and under-5 mortality rates for 5-year periods preceding the survey, Zambia DHS 2018

Years preceding the survey

Approximate time period of estimated rates

Neonatal mortality (NN)

Post-neonatal mortality (PNN) 1

Infant mortality (1q0)

Child mortality (4q1)

Under-5 mortality (5q0)

0 – 4

2014 – 2018






1 Computed as the difference between the infant and neonatal mortality rates.

Response to paragraph 43 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

203.According to DZHS 2018 – the number of stunted children was 1,182,140 which is (35%) of under 5 children.

Nutritional status of children

Percentage of children under age 5 classified as malnourished according to three anthropometric indices of nutritional status: height-for-age, weight-for-height, and weight-for-age, according to background characteristics, Zambia DHS 2018

Bac k ground characteristic

Height for age

Weight for height

Weight for age

Severely Stunted


Number of children

Severely wasted

W asted

Over weight for height

Number of children

Severely under weight

Under weight

Over weight for age

Number of children

Age in months












1 015

6 – 8












9 – 11












12 – 17












18 – 23












24 – 35



1 959




1 959




1 980

36 – 47



1 983




1 988




1 991

48 – 59



1 827




1 835




1 832





4 750




4 743




4 801




4 860




4 850




4 889





3 320




3 307




3 341




6 289




6 287




6 348

















1 230




1 226




1 236




1 266




1 262




1 269
















1 476




1 463




1 485

























North Western















1 274




1 278




1 279













Mother ’ s education

No education















4 599




4 572




4 625




3 098




3 082




3 125

























Wealth quintile




2 352




2 352




2 370




2 162




2 156




2 180




1 831




1 831




1 851




1 792




1 788




1 801




1 472




1 466




1 487




9 609




9 593




9 689

Response to paragraph 43 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

204.The State party wishes to report that the number of child deaths due to preventable diseases are as described in the table below. However, in terms of disease burden, malaria continues being the major cause of morbidity and mortality. The latest statistics estimate the incidence of malaria at 319/100,000 in 2018, showing a reduction from 346/100,000 recorded in 2015. The malaria programme had posted success for intervention xiii indicators through the use of long-lasting insecticide treated nets; intermittent presumptive treatment; in-door residual spray; diagnostic testing by blood slide or rapid test in children; and use of Artemisinin-based combination for treatment of malaria.

Response to paragraph 43 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

205.The State Party wishes to report that the number of professionals specialized in young children and adolescents paediatric and mental health services particularly in rural areas is still low; less than 20 that includes paediatricians based at 10 Provincial General/Central Hospitals and in a few selected District level 2 and level 1 Hospitals respectively.

206.While the number of services is generally categorised under four titles namely:

•Curative Services – are the diagnosis and management of all sick children presenting different childhood diseases for both in and out-patient;

•Preventive services such as immunizations, vitamin A supplement, De-worming, Early Infant Diagnosis for HIV and provision of insecticide treated nets among others;

•Promotive services such as provision of social behaviour change and communication intervention, growth monitoring and promotions of infant feeding activities; and

•Rehabilitative services provision of rehabilitative spaces and services for all children including mental health and other neurological anomalies.

Response to paragraph 44 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

207.The number of adolescent mothers is as provided in the table below: and according to ZDHS 2018 it stands at 29% age 15–19.

Table 5.11

Teenage pregnancy and motherhood

Percentage of women age 15 – 19 who have had a live birth or who are pregnant with their first child, and percentage who have begun childbearing, according to background characteristics, Zambia DHS 2018

Percentage of women age 15 – 19 who:

Background characteristic

Have had a live birth

Are pregnant with first child

Percentage who have begun childbearing

Number of women


15 – 17




1 735






























3 000

Response to paragraph 44 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

208.The State Party wishes to report that the number of children with drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse are in 2020 were 134.

Response to paragraph 44 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

209.On the number of sexual and reproductive services available to adolescents, the State party wishes to report that there are 13 services as follows – Antenatal, Labour and delivery services, Postnatal, Emergency Obstetric and New-born Care (EmONC), Family planning, Counselling and testing for HIV, Prevention of mother to child transmission, Sexual Transmitted Infections screening, Puberty Counselling, Youth friendly, Condom distribution, Medical male circumcision and Alcohol and substance abuse services.

Response to paragraph 45 of the list of issues prior to submission

210.The State party wishes to report that 60% of the population live below the poverty line and 42% are classified as extremely poor. Poverty rates are highest for female-headed households, with extreme poverty levels of more than 60% in rural areas and 15% in urban areas.

I.Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28–31)

Response to paragraph 46 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

211.The dropout rates in the past three years have been on the increase. The dropout rate increases from 1.5% in 2016 to 1.7% in 2019 at primary level and 1.2% in 2016 and still remains at 1.2% at secondary level respectively. In 2015 the number increased sharply to 249, 416. However, it has been reducing between 2016 and 2018. From 2012 onwards, the number of boys out of school exceed that of girls. 1n 2018, the out-of-school children were about 5.3% of the total primary school enrolment.

212.The State party has developed an Out-of-School Strategy to guide the provision of education to the out of school learners. The strategy has been approved, printed and disseminated to selected parts of the country.

Response to paragraph 46 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

213.The table below describes the number of children not transitioning from primary to secondary school:

Response to paragraph 46 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

214.The number and proportion of children, including children with disabilities, and girls, dropping out of school is as outlined in the table above (b).

Response to paragraph 46 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

215.On the number of cases of sexual abuse in schools, the State Party wishes to report that the 2018 VAC Survey reports that Sexual abuse prior to age 18: 20.3% of females and 10.0% of males and 26.2% of females and 5.6% male described their first sexual intercourse prior to age 18 as unwanted: 26.2% of females and 5.6% of males. 18.0% females and 7.2% males reported receiving services for any incident of sexual abuse* occurring prior to age 18.

216.Further, a Study on School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) in and around Boarding Schools in Zambia was conducted in 2019, to build evidence of pupils’ experiences of SRGBV in the context of living away from home, and the risk and protective factors associated with these. The findings show that peer to peer emotional violence is prominent. There is also a significant number of cases of sexual violence taking place in and around boarding schools. To address this the State part has developed the National Prevention and Response Plan (2021–2025).

Response to paragraph 46 (e) of the list of issues prior to submission

217.The table below provides statistics for the number of children attending Early Childhood Education (ECE), from each province between 2011–2019. There has been an increase in children attending ECE.

ECE Enrolments from 2011 to 2019












5 451

5 883

5 013

10 079

12 646

15 713

18 424

23 224

25 271


13 482

16 316

14 298

24 240

23 244

29 394

31 991

34 437

37 187


3 420

1 978

3 554

11 436

12 755

13 180

18 597

30 841

39 521


1 580

3 139

4 984

9 107

9 927

11 908

13 458

16 969

18 554


14 073

14 377

14 462

21 885

23 830

25 222

26 876

28 923

28 457




2 516

5 735

6 535

7 578

10 319

11 685

12 602


1 029

1 781

1 438

5 313

5 313

5 599

6 958

9 493

11 707


1 257

1 394

3 045

7 465

7 465

7 590

10 684

12 669

12 872


6 139

6 226

8 756

33 416

33 416

34 529

35 652

40 040

44 857



1 546

2 654

7 742

7 742

9 582

11 439

13 784

22 980


47 317

52 640

60 720

131 394

142 873

160 295

184 398

222 065

254 008

J.Special protection measures (arts. 22, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37 (b)–(d) and 38–40)

Response to paragraph 47 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

218.Onthenumberofasylum-seeking,thereweretwomalesofCongolesenationalitywererecordedasasylumseekers.Theywerereintegratedbacktotherefugeesettlements .

Response to paragraph 47 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission


Response to paragraph 47 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission


Response to paragraph 47 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission


Response to paragraph 48 of the list of issues prior to submission


Response to paragraph 49 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission


Number and Percentage Distribution of Hazardous Child Labour Rate, 2018


Hazardous Child Labour

Child Labour







Child labour

955 301


33 784


921 517


Response to paragraph 49 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

224.There were 37 child labour cases investigated for the year 2020, 11 being female and 26 being male. For 2018/19 the total prosecutions were 118, two cases are pending prosecution through Social Welfare Department and both victims are male.

Response to paragraph 50 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

225.The State Party wishes to report that there were 229 children involved in trafficking (185 males and 44 females).

Response to paragraph 50 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

226.The State party wishes to report that Forty-six (46), sixteen (16) males and thirty (30) females’ children were assisted with rehabilitation programmes. This was done at the centers and some in their communities. The programmes included skills training, provision of gardening tools and livestock. The training was done at household level and families were trained in entrepreneurship and financial skills especially in cases were the children very young to conceptualize the trainings.

Response to paragraph 50 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

227.None of the cases above resulted into sanctions.

Response to paragraph 51 (a) of the list of issues prior to submission

228.The State party wishes to report that there were 932 children in detention between 2017–2020 police cells and the average number of days of stay is 1–4.

Response to paragraph 51 (b) of the list of issues prior to submission

229.the State Party wishes to report that in 2020, through its National Education and Campaign Division (NECD), the Drug Enforcement Commission managed to divert 134 children who came in conflict with the law in cases regarding drug trafficking and possession. The children were all referred for counselling at the NECD. Under the VSU, 979 children with varying offences were diverted while 547 children were granted non-custodial sentencing options between 2017 and 2020.

Response to paragraph 51 (c) of the list of issues prior to submission

230.The State party wishes to report that number of children detained together with adults between 2017 and 2020 were 162 and they had an average number of 1–4 days of stay.

Response to paragraph 51 (d) of the list of issues prior to submission

231.The proportion of children in conflict with the law who received legal aid throughout legal proceedings is very low.