By Kevin Anyonge
PHOTO: Various Stakeholders during the roundtable at Sarova PanAfric Hotel-Nairobi.
In Kenya more than half of the population is made up of children hence making it a ‘young’ nation. It is estimated that 54.4% of Kenya’s population is below the age of 18 years and hence majority of Kenyans are children, it’s therefore the responsibility of each individual citizen to take care of our children against all forms of violence.
World Vision, the Government, Civil Organizations, Development Agencies among other stakeholders held a roundtable to discuss and make informed decisions on how to effectively handle the Effects of drought on Children in Kenya and Various forms of Violence against Children in Kenya.
In Kenya children are affected by various forms of violence whether directly or indirectly, the violence include Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriage and Sexual Violence among other forms of violence rampant in various part of the country.
In the Constitution of Kenya, its well-articulated that the state has a fundamental duty to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights, however with the existence of this provisions, majority of Kenyan children still do not enjoy their rights fully, Several factors have denied children full enjoyment of the God given rights, the factors include attitudes, peoples beliefs and practices, weak implementation of laws ,policies and regulation.
During the round table all participant agreed in one voice that children need to be protected from abuse, harmful cultural practices like FGM, exploitative labour inhuman treatment and punishment. They articulated various measures that can see an end to this violence that children undergo through day by day.
To ensure an to end all forms of violence against children, government and stakeholders were urged to enhance public investment and accountability on the implementation of INSPIRE strategies in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The INSPIRE a seven strategy to end violence if well invest and implemented will see a close end to violence against children.
- Implementation and Enforcement of laws that protect children
- Norms and values that promote Child protection
- Safe Environment for Children
- Parent and Care Giver support for Children
- Income and Economic Strengthening for households and their families
- Response and Support Services for Children
- Education and life skills for Children
The participants agreed that there was need to increase the visibility of children in order for policy makers to tackle the challenges children are facing. They further agreed on the following
- Child participation provides a strong base for identifying and addressing root causes Developing a comprehensive integrated guidelines for child participation in Kenya, the senate, national assembly and county assemblies to develop Child friendly procedures of participation in legislative affairs
- The National and County governments to allocate adequate finances for Child participation programs and platforms in Kenya and lastly the state to report and publicize the status of Child participation in Kenya every year.
- Developing a child friendly version of the SDG implementation framework to ensure children are of the SDGs.
- The department of children services should consider working closely with the other child data organizations in rolling out of the Child Protection Management System.
- It is important to have a multi sectoral meeting to evaluate the response of the drought
It takes all of us me and you to end violence against children
Kevin is a journalist with Mtoto News
Mtoto News is an online platform of news, information and resources that aims at making significant change in the lives of children by making them visible. Read mtotonews.com or follow us on twitter and Facebook @mtotonews
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