Cabinet has approved the Children’s Amendment Bill 2021 which criminalises parents or guardians who enable commission of an offence by a child or fail to take reasonable steps to ensure the child does not commit an offence.
It also widens and criminalises instances of child abuse. -places an obligation on any professional person who becomes aware or suspects that a child is being abused, to report that person to Police.
It further empowers probation officers to obtain birth certificates for children without parental care.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has also approved the Child Justice Bill 2020. The Bill -will establish a Child Justice System for children in conflict with the law in accordance with the Constitution.
It seeks to entrench principles of rehabilitation and restorative justice reviews age of criminal responsibility of a child upwards from 7 to 12 years.
It provides for legal representation for children and sentencing options available, provides for establishment of Child Justice Committees at national, provincial and district levels.
This has been announced by the Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa during post cabinet briefing.