A Child Court User Committee has been unveiled in Kisumu County to ensure matters concerning children in court are addressed in a professional and delicate manner.
The committee will bring together actors in the administration of justice and other stakeholders in the County to share ideas on how to improve the environment for children in court.
According to Stella Tewa, a child magistrate and chairperson for the committee, children are vulnerable and should be handled in a special way.
“Matters concerning children are special and it’s important for the County to take a step to take care of their needs in a caring way,” Tewa explained.
Tewa stated that the Court Users Committee (CUC) has been handling children’s matters but it was overwhelmed with duties as it handled other cases at the grassroots level.
Tewa said the committee is the first of its kind in the region as children’s cases in court need a lot of attention, time and special care and in several cases, their vulnerability has been ignored.
“The CUC has a lot of things to handle in court ensuring accountability and improvement of court performance so we felt the children were not getting the attention and time they needed,” Tewa said.
The implementation of the Child Court User Committee will reduce the workload from CUC and concentrate on the affairs of children only.
CUC is under the umbrella of the National Council on the Administration of Justice, which ensures the operationalization of CUC at the County level and at court stations.
The Child Court User Committee will ensure children have safe holding cells, are handled with care in courts and justice is served in a fair manner and ensure their safety.
This comes ahead of children’s service month which will be commemorated in November this year.
By Evangeline Mola