Traditional leaders in the country have been asked to develop practical action plans in their respective areas that will support the prevention of early and forced child marriages.

Speaking during the national opening ceremony of the Kigali Declaration in Karonga district which was attended by all chiefs across the country, head of human rights for commonwealth secretariat Karen McKenzie said harmful cultural practices are the major causes of early and forced child marriages in African continent.

“All chiefs should therefore take an upper hand in the eradication of such malpractices,” said McKenzie.

In his remarks paramount chief Kyungu of Karonga asked his fellow chiefs to formulate vibrant early and forced child marriages by-laws in their areas in order to make Malawi a role model.