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Child protection units unveiled in Kisumu

The Ministry of Gender, Culture, The Arts and Heritage in partnership with the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), has established two Child Protection Units (CPU), at Ahero Police Station in Nyando and Kasagam Police Station in Kisumu East.

The objectives of these Units include, providing safe spaces for children in conflict with the law or those who are victims of crime. Also, they seek to address the rising cases of physical and sexual abuse among young people in the Lakeside County.

Speaking at the launch, Gender Cabinet Secretary (CS), Aisha Jumwa, affirmed that the move is part of a commitment by the government and development partners, to establish CPU and rescue centers in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), especially among vulnerable children.

“The Units will provide temporary shelter and psychosocial support services to the GBV survivors, the majority of whom are children and women, as they navigate the justice system,” CS Jumwa stated.

She said the CPU will protect children from direct contact with perpetrators who might seek to compromise them or interfere with evidence that can be used in prosecution.

“In most cases, children suffer violence, exploitation, negligence, abuse, and even defilement from their relatives. GBV victims need to report such cases at the Police Station, where they are assured of their privacy as they seek justice,” CS Jumwa explained.

Notably,  the CS confirmed that the government, has put in place plans to construct and operationalize 20 new safe houses by 2027 in its renewed commitment to ending Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

According to CS Jumwa, there are more than 54 safe houses nationally. Only three are state-owned.

“As a government, we are committed to ensuring that SGBV victims get a safe and conducive environment, as they recover and wait to get justice,” Jumwa said.

The safe homes, she said, would be constructed through a partnership with the Offices of Woman Representative through the NGAAF kitty to address the protection and rehabilitation of SGBV survivors.

According to the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2022 KDHS), the prevalence of SGBV has declined to 15 percent owing to the heightened campaigns and interventions by various actors to end these violations.

She called on other development partners to collaborate with the state agencies to further reduce the 15 percent to zero by 2030.

By Robert Ojwang’

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