|Stakeholders working to address the plight of children have expressed concern over child marriages in Turkana county.
Speaking during a meeting to cascade findings of a survey on violence against children in Lodwar, county children services coordinator Julius Yator said the issue was alarming and needed to be addressed urgently.
“A lot of cases of child marriages are not reported on our Central Processing Information System to ensure we prevent these cases and that where they happen we respond,” said Yator.
Yator said everyone has a responsibility to stop violence against children.
He said as part of the strategy to spread the message to stop violence against children, they had decided to bring on board the bodaboda riders and distributed 600 reflector jackets with messages of stopping violence against children.
He added that presence of refugees in Kakuma refugee camp also poses another challenge to children.
The Coordinator added that refugee children would also be targeted in the campaign.
According to Eunice Moraa from the department of children services in Nairobi, the national prevention and response plan and came to disseminate it.
The aim of the meeting was also to help the members of the child protection network and area advisory council in the county can come up with an action plan on how they are going to implement the activities in the national prevention plan.
A child friendly version of the document has also been developed with support from UNICEF.
Unicef representative Francis Kidake said the ongoing debate on whether to reintroduce canning of children in schools indicate the country has a long way to go in addressing violence against children.
“As people working on children issues we need to seize the moment and change the narrative,” he said.
He added the indiscipline in schools that has seen many schools razed by students is a manifestation of issues that have been lying underneath and need to be tackled.
by Peter Gitonga