The National Gender & Equity Commission has descried rising Cases of violence ,harm, exploitation, neglect, trafficking &abuse of children
According to a report by the National Crime Research Centre,2020,there was a 205.6%increase in the total number of cases of violations of children’s rights btwn 2017& 2019.
The report indicates that defilement,child neglect,child custody and child abandonment are the most common forms of violations facing children in Kenya
Commission Chairperson Dr. Joyce.M Mutinda says a national consultative meeting convened by the commission in July 2020 found that pressures from COVID-19 containment measures contributed to an increase in the numbers of children forced to engaged in labour to support their families.
“Such actions often contribute to a child’s vulnerability including sexual violation.This meeting noted that online child abuse is an increasingly emerging phenomenon in rural Kenya. Further, the extent of participation of children on issues that affect them, is less documented,”She said Dr Mutinda made the observations as Kenya joined the African continent in commemorating the day of the African child(DAC),which is marked every year on the 16th day of June.
She said the Country has made significant progress in the development & promotion of legislation that advances the rights of the Kenyan Child.
They include the children’s Act 2001,the sexual offences Act 2006, the Borstal institutions Act 2009 the counter_Trafficking in Persons Act 2010,the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act 2015,the prohibition of Female Genital mutilation Act 2011,among others.
Mutinda further said that polices & action plans to advance the rights of the Child among them the National Plan Of Action against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children in Kenya Guidelines for Alternative care & and the National Family Promotion & protection policy are also in place.
“To prevent abuse & promote & protect Children’s rights the Government has put up structures such as The National Administrative Of Justice Special Taskforce on Children’s affair,Child Protection Units(CPUs)in police stations & Anti_Human Trafficking &Child protection Unit at the Directorate Of Criminal Investigation & Children’s division & anti-FGM Unit at the office of the director of Public Prosecutions just to mention a few,”She said.
Mutinda however said some of the existing laws & policies are not harmonized & in many cases are contradictory.
“The Children’s Act (2001)for instance is yet to be harmonized to reflect the spirit & letter of the constitution of Kenya 2010.The more Parliament procrastinates on the amendment process of this & other statutes passed before the promulgation of the constitution 2010,the more Kenyan Children continue to suffer,”she said, She urged Parliament to Protect & safeguard the rights & welfare of children by passing the necessary legislation as soon as possible.