Where is justice amidst the system that fails its children? “Old men can make war, but it is children who will make history.” Ray Merritt. Which history when their essence is not valued? Cases and incidences of children being violated have been reported year in and year out.
From extrajudicial killing to sodomy, and pedophiles to rape, exploitation, sex, and organ trafficking, the policymakers have done little to ensure the safety of the kids. Inasmuch as folks say “children are the future leaders of the generation to come”, what have they actually done to ensure their safety both online and offline? According to the KidsRight index 2022, Kenya is number 12 out of 60 countries with a low number of child exploitation and sexual abuse, which sounds like a façade, right? Children make up 53% of Kenya’s population with an annual increment rate of 2.2%.
A 10-year-old girl from Bomet county was allegedly defiled severally by her maternal uncle, four years ago, and was laid to rest after succumbing to after-rape complications. But the suspect roams free after his release in 2019. This makes you want to question the integrity of the children’s right charter. Where is it headed?
The children act 2022 ensures that children are fully protected from neglect, abuse exploitation, and child labor Clause 142 of the children’s act defines that a child in need of care and protection is one who lives in difficult circumstances and needs to be protected from all kinds of abuse and neglect. See, all these sound like naysayer’s gossip because on December 17th, 2022, a three-year-old child gets kidnapped and his eyes gouged out in Marani in Kisii county, by his family members, later a 47 male impregnants his daughter in Kiambu county. All this decadence has a close origin to the victims’ lives and these people are their close family and friends.
Climate change is another big issue that is significantly affecting Kenyan children. And Kenya ranks 3rd in east and southern Africa and 10th in the globe in terms of the overall children facing a double threat against poverty. Nearly 16.4 million of these children equivalent to 67% of the country’s child population are at risk of being malnourished with poor health, lack of water, or clean air, dropping out of school, getting pregnant,or engaging in casual sex, migrating, getting displaced, undergoing female genital mutilation or basically being forced to get married or joining bad company like criminal groups in order to survive. We end up having a troubled, depressed, and lost generation, whose age got wasteful because their childhood got too unbearable for them to handle. The solution to climate change is action, where the government should be addressing climate issues with urgency because the frequency and severity of humanitarian and cost of living are set to thereby making life supremely detrimental to the physical, emotional, and psychological growth of the Kenyan children.
Insecurity is another threat and is becoming rampant in 12 counties in Kenya especially the northeastern part of the country, due to banditry or Al Shabaab militia or internal conflicts. Forcing many school children to drop out and making their parents unable to provide them with the basic necessity. Should the state fail to put more measures on the security system then the state is a complete failure to its children.
Since the government’s efforts towards mitigating child right seems to have proven abortive, just maybe it’s time it develops and adopt policies and enacted laws to protect children rights by first enabling legislative that are child right based, address protection need and make everyone aware of them, hear and monitor the child wellbeing, encourage parents to provide a home friendly environment for physical and psychological support, support judicial proceedings, respect the views and concern of children participation in the enactment of the children rights charter or maybe establish a jurisdiction and transnational cooperation between civil-society organization cooperation for child’s rights participation and the government as well.
I’m wondering if I should quote my article “life is stranger than fiction “or should I quote it “decadence in the face of our everyday minors” or “the arc of insecurity”. Because what we actually see is child injustices day in and day out without any region being exempted. We are deaf to hear what happens in the news every day but let’s not be blind and mute to create change, could it be that one man terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter? Strange I know, right? But think about it