In a bid to arrest rampant child abuse cases the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) has entered into a mutual partnership with some apostolic sect leaders in an effort to make them appreciate children’s rights.

This came in the wake of the alleged rampant abuse of children at some of the apostolic sects across the country.

Some of the abuses include early forced marriages, denying children access to education, birth records and health facilities.

ZNCWC national director Taylor Nyanhete told NewsDay last week that the partnership would encompass training the sect leaders on human rights issues.

“We are engaging apostolic sects especially those that are not sending children to school and doing all sorts of things and in the process violating the children’s rights,” Nyanhete said.

“We are working in partnering with the associations so that we are able to consider training their leaders in children’s rights and ensuring that they appreciate that it is important for every institution to respect the country’s Constitution.

“They should also know that there is a supreme law that one has to abide by.”

Nyanhete said even though there was a clause on the right to religion, there was need for the apostolic sect leaders to respect the Constitution.

“We want the leaders to respect the law of the land and also recognise the rights of the children be it health, education, shelter and so forth,”Nyanhete said.

“We have met with the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe and we are developing a memorandum of association, but we still need to meet more of the apostolic sects. We need to remind them that children have rights too which should also be respected.”

Apostolic sects are known for denying their children the right to education and medication, thus contributing to the country’s high child mortality rate.