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IEBC to undertake Children Assembly election

Children in Nairobi County are set to hold the Children Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday April 19, to air views on issues affecting them and to elect their leaders at an event that will be held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

The three-day event which starts on April 19th to 21st this year, will see the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) conduct the Assembly’s election where the children will vote to elect governors, deputy governors, speaker, clerk and Sergeant at Arms and 44 delegates who will be in office for a term of two years.

The on-going elections has seen at least 11 sub counties within Nairobi among them Mathare, Makadara, Njiru, Kibera, Langata, Dagoretti, Kasarani and Embakasi elect their representatives.

Speaking to KNA on the upcoming event, Nairobi County Coordinator Children’s Services Mr Hoyd Isadia, said the purpose of the Assembly whose concept started in 2014 provides children with a platform to air their views and to give an input in policies that touch on children’s affairs.

Mr Isadia said the opportunity has empowered children to come up with a memorandum on education which has made it easier for children to access bursaries.

“This platform is important as it enables the children to contribute their views through public participation,” said the County Coordinator.

Isadia added: “The gains of the Children Assembly has brought leadership elections in schools, and given children life and leadership skills.”

He said members of the Assembly who are aged 11 to 17, are selected as members of the four sub-committees which include Survival, Protection, Participation and Development, noting that voices on the issues raised from the committees are presented to the National Assembly to inform policy.

The Survival Sub Committees deals with the Rights to birth certificates, health, medical, vaccine and nutrition, while Protection handles child labour, trafficking, child and drug abuse, online sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse, female genital mutilation and harmful cultural practices which affect children.

In Development, issues handled are informal and formal education, spiritual development, parental guidance and love, play and leisure, and assisting children to develop while participation concentrates with issues that children can raise their voices on.

Ms Valentine Maole, a Children’s Officer in the office of the Nairobi County Coordinator said the County has special issues which require a lot of attention in regards to child protection and safeguarding policy in the area of street children, child labour, children with disability and child abuse.

“These are areas where the children’s voices can be raised and give an input in the policy before it becomes law,” said Maole.

She at the same time noted that to prevent online child abuse among children, the Children’s Department will continue to educate and inform them the channels they can use to report such incidences.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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