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Child protection policy for Samburu County underway 

The Department of Children Services in Samburu County has kicked off efforts to formulate a Child Protection Policy that is aligned to the unique challenges facing children.

Speaking during the inaugural meeting for the Samburu Child Protection Network (CPN), Samburu Children’s Officer Peter Mwangi said that the formation of CPN aims at bringing together all the stakeholders in child protection issues towards formulating a Child Protection Policy tailored to the issues facing children in Samburu County.

He added that the network aims at establishing good reporting mechanisms and encouraging partners working for children’s welfare in the County to share their best practices on children’s matters to finally have a domesticated approach on children’s issues in the County.

“In this County we have unique challenges facing children such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriage, teenage pregnancies, beading and many more. Therefore, we should have a structured Policy and CPN is a think-tank on child protection issues,” he said.

Mwangi noted that the National Child Protection Information Management System lowly ranks FGM and child marriages but they are the leading vices against children in Samburu County.

During the meeting, children’s rights activist Ann Lelesiit noted that awareness of children’s rights is low and constant sensitisation should be carried out.

“Issues such as FGM, child marriages, child labor and neglect are viewed as normal cultural practices and that is why they are rampant,” she said.

It emerged that there is lack of political and community goodwill in prosecution of violence against children cases.

“Local politicians don’t openly condemn the vice for fear of losing votes and on the other hand, community members fail to show up as witnesses in court cases involving FGM and child marriages and they end up being dismissed,” said John Korir, Children’s Officer Samburu North Sub County.

By Robert Githu

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