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Declare Defilement State Emergency, Judge

A High Court judge wants the government to declare defilement of children a national emergency.

Lady Justice Jessie Lessit said the high rate at which children were being defiled was alarming.

“The number of defiled children is very high considering that some of the defilement cases do not even reach the court of law because they were resolved through ‘kangaroo’ courts at family level”, she said.

She said some of the cases are not reported but resolved at home because the predators are either relatives or family members.

Justice Lessit said although so many pedophiles are serving time in prison those not reported are far too many.

“Only a fraction of defilement cases is reported.Most children suffer in silence, or when they report the evidence is already destroyed,” she said.

“A time has come that the issue of child defilement is talked about in the mosques, churches, schools and community barazas to sensitize the people that defilement that defilement is a bad habit that destroys children”, she advocated.

 

Addressing the press Monday during the children’s national service week launch at the Eldoret law courts ground,  the judge said defilement has become a serious societal problem in Kenya and it must be addressed through concerted efforts if it was to stop.

Justice Lessit said it was unfortunate that some parents hide sex predators who sexually molest their children after being paid ‘something small’.

Other children are taken far away by parents so that they do not testify leading to collapse of the cases in court”.

Lessit further urged County Commissioners, chiefs and their assistants to arrest the sex offenders and ensure that they face the law.

 

A member of the special taskforce on children matters established by the National Council on Administration on Justice, Justice Lucy Gitari who accompanied Justice Lessit said since 2016, 3000 cases involving children in conflict with the law have been disposed of through the pleas bargain agreement.

Eldoret chief  Magistrate Charles Obulutsa said matters involving  children  are very sensitive and once a file has been opened in court it will not be closed until the child attains the age of 18, “and in cases dealing with child maintenance the file will remain open even when the child attains the age of 18 if still a student.

 

By Kiptanui Cherono.

 

 

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