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Residents advised to seek legal resolution to parental abduction

Igembe region Children’s Officer Vincent Kaunda has urged residents to seek legal redress on matters of child custody to curb rampant cases of child abduction by one parent.

Kaunda explained that parental abduction is the keeping or taking of a child by one parent without the consent of the other parent or relative in custody of the child which is considered a felony and is liable to imprisonment.

The Children’s Officer said the tremendous increase of abduction cases has is attributed to divorce, separation and family instability.

He noted that since the launch of the Children Service Month in November he has handled around five cases of child abduction by parents in a day adding that the majority of abductors are men especially when they feel the court is unfair to them after the custodial decree.

“Since November we have been recording a surging incidence of child abduction by parents with a daily average of five cases,’’ Kaunda noted.

He further said that domestic violence has also seen an increase in child abduction, noting that after a couple fights one may keep hold of a child and threaten to kill the spouse if they dare to take the child.

Kaunda said that the majority of these children suffer trauma and psychological harm due to neglect, abuse, and conflict they witness among the parents.

The Children’s Officer further revealed that many cases of abduction remain unreported adding that many parents lack knowledge about custody and abduction laws.

He urged both parents to take responsibility fully and resolve their domestic issues amicably rather than subjecting other parents to pain and anxiety.

Kaunda called upon parents and guardians to safeguard their children’s rights especially during this December holiday in order to protect their future.

By Kamanja Maeria and Jackline Mukami

 

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