Kenya: Lobbies Want Welfare of All Children Given Priority During Crisis

Kenya: Lobbies Want Welfare of All Children Given Priority During Crisis

Two rights groups want child welfare to receive priority during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and Joining Forces Alliance for Children, the umbrella body for children’s rights organisations in the country, have faulted the government for the lack of guidelines for handling violence against minors.

They single out increased cases of child abuse, sexual and gender based violence and lack of prioritisation of all children in vulnerable situations in the ongoing Covid-19 social protection humanitarian support.

“We reiterated that children’s rights must be at the centre of the Covid-19 response mechanisms,” said Dr Bernard Mogesa, the CEO at KNCHR.

The lobbies had put the government on notice before the Day of the African Child on June 16. Further, they have asked the government to enact the Children Bill 2019, whose delay continues to paint Kenya negatively in regard to its obligation to promote and protect children’s rights.

The lobbies also note lack of information and reports to the various actors and the public on measures in place to safeguard the wellbeing and welfare of children in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is also a lack of clear measures to enhance access to justice (both formal and informal systems) for children during this pandemic,” said Child Fund-Kenya director Chege Ngugi.

This, Mr Ngugi added, has resulted to a broken child justice chain link in handling of child protection cases for those who have been caught up in the justice process.