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Embu courts set aside space for children’s cases

The Embu law courts have set aside special rooms where all matters touching on children will be heard in a child-friendly environment.

Besides the children’s courtroom being decorated with bright colours and cartoon characters, a happy place has also been established where children can spend quality time amusing themselves with toys, reading books, or drawing.

The premises will also have quality sanitary facilities and other amenities for the comfort of the children, as well as a separate interview room.

Embu Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia said children are normally vulnerable when they come to court, either as children in conflict with the law or as victims of crime, and added that the space was necessary to help them cope with the trauma of being in court.

He said because children sometimes fear to testify in the presence of their violators, special care has been taken to ensure a witness box that allows a one-way visual interface will be deployed to ensure the children do not directly face those who may torment them in court.

A representative of children’s charity Lumos, Ms Grace Mwangi said the place was conceived with the idea of giving children a relaxed environment.

She expressed hope that the Judiciary will replicate similar projects in all the courts in the country.

The Embu County Co-coordinator of Children’s Services Daveline Mundi said the project will ensure children’s matters are dealt with in a friendly space and described the project as the best New Year gift for Embu children.

By Steve Gatheru

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