Today is the day of the African Child and we wish the precious African Child meaningful Day of the African Child, where your best interest becomes the deciding factor of all the actions or omissions of your primary and secondary caregivers.
Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU
“Child prostitute” implies consent, stigmatizes victims, and downplays the crime” Jon BIRD
Welcome to our discussion today my dear and precious young ones.
I am here to continue our discussion on ‘Child Marriage and ‘Child Prostitution.’ You will recall that yesterday I took time to say to you that the ‘Child Marriage’ is a phrase which creates the wrong impression that a child can be a bride.
Let me make my point further by showing you what I consider to be the basic ingredients of marriage:
- Capacity: capacity here refers to age or maturity. In this instance, this is a function of number. Anybody below 18 years doesn’t have capacity to enter into marriage. It is important to note that though capacity is measured by age, it also speaks to psychological and physiological development of the parties.
- Consent: this refers to mutual agreement to enter into a marriage relationship. Even where parties pass the test of capacity, they must of necessity consent to the relationship. Consent here must be an informed consent and not coaxed or induced.
- Consummation: upon contracting a marriage, there is what is known as consummation of the marriage. This simply refers to sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, who are married. Under the law, a child does not have capacity to give consent to sex voluntarily or induced. Therefore a child cannot consummate a marriage and consummation goes to the root and validity of a marriage relationship. Any sexual relationship with a child in the name of ‘marriage’ is nothing but blatant abuse and violation of the innocence of the precious child, girl or boy.
It is high time that you as young people urge those who campaign for your protection from all forms of abuse go back to the drawing board, with the aim of defining the scope of their social interventions and most importantly, the right language with which to accurately capture same.
It is my belief that traditional definitions cannot help to do justice the cause of protecting our precious children.
I boldly submit today that there is no such thing like ‘Child Marriage.’ Our coinage, ‘Domesticated Child Sexual Abuse or Molestation,’ is an attempt to name this practice for what it is. It may not describe same fully. But it is a call to all genuinely interested defenders of your rights, (including you) to take another but careful look at our noble causes and the terms we employ.
My challenge to you today is to join the crusade that we will not rest until we find expression, which are in compliance with your BEST INTEREST as a young person. Marriage is a sacred and spiritual relationship and it is not meant for children
The THINK Factor
You see, to agree that forcefully giving out a child to a man or woman is ‘Child Marriage’ will mean to say that a paedophile is a husband, a sexually molested child is a wife, and the suspects, who forcefully joined them in ‘crimetrimony’ are in-laws. Do you agree with these thoughts? If you agree or disagree, what are your reasons? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal.