Nakuru County Government Urged to Develop Child Protection Policy to Address Sexual Abuse Trends 1

Nakuru County Government Urged to Develop Child Protection Policy to Address Sexual Abuse Trends

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Stakeholders overseeing children’s rights have called on the County government of Nakuru to develop a child protection policy that will address the worrying trend of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The stakeholders noted that there’s a need for the country to implement laws within its borders that include allocating budgetary resources considering the Sexual Offenses Act (2006) and The Children Act (2022).

Nakuru County Head of Children Services Alice Wanyonyi said that the county recorded more than 9,000 cases of child abuse, early marriages and sexual exploitation with informal settlements most affected.

Ms Wanyonyi said the statistics recorded could be higher as cases that occurred in far-flung areas went unreported with others compromised by close family relatives through Kangaroo courts, as victims lived with the trauma.

Ms Wanyonyi asserted that the recorded statistics could be higher since the cases in far-flung areas went unreported and others compromised by close family relatives.

The Children officer shared that the rising trend of molestation, child abuse and defilement has been driven by substance abuse and alcohol in the children’s neighbourhoods with several cases being perpetuated by people known to them.

Ms Wanyonyi shared that the implementation of a child protection policy would ensure prompt reporting of cases to authorities, community awareness and allocation of funds to rescue centres and children care facilities.

Nakuru County Government Urged to Develop Child Protection Policy to Address Sexual Abuse Trends 2

During a sensitization programme by a non-governmental organization, KNOTE, she said the policy would address issues of child trafficking with recent data showing that the county is a major transit for trafficked children destined for major cities and other neighbouring countries.

Ms Wanyonyi shared, “The government has brought on board child protection volunteers to sensitize and create awareness in the communities to ensure the rights of children are equally protected as championed by the state laws,”

Gender-based desk Jessicah Mung’au said that the county continued to register a large number of child defilement and violence among young partners mostly driven by religious beliefs, age and culture.

Ms Mung’au said that Nakuru Couty has laid down measures to address the worrying concerns, which include training health personnel, creating awareness, and accelerating legal redress for victims to ensure lawbreakers face the full force of the law.

She further noted that Naivasha was spotted as a key hotspot area for cases involving children due to the rise of informal settlements and flower farms with rural areas recording multiple cases of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM)

Maureen Pacho from an NGO dubbed CISP, shared that the community declaration towards the fight for children’s rights is a commitment to protecting the children’s future in the education system and in society.

“Communities must be emboldened and sensitized to take action and protect children from early marriages, sex exploitation, violence and teenage pregnancies going forward,”

Nakuru County Government Urged to Develop Child Protection Policy to Address Sexual Abuse Trends 3 58

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