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We will do everything possible to stop child abuse, the church In Migori says

The church in Migori County has called for an end to violence against children especially among the Kuria community where female genital mutilation (FGM) thrives.

The Church, under the umbrella of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), decried the unwarranted cases of child violence being witnessed in the area in form of female circumcision, child labour, murder and molestation.

In a terse statement from the NCCK office, Kuria Chapter, Bishop Daniel Kihengu who spoke on behalf of the body said, the Church will continue to defend the rights of children including the unborn ones.

“As a church we are going to do everything possible to promote child safety initiatives to curb the many vices currently threatening the survival of the child and especially the girl-child in Kuria region,” he said.

Bishop Kihengu released the statement just a few days ahead of the annual widespread Anti-FGM activities within the Kuria Community which happens in the month of December.

Although the state has outlawed the practice and pumped huge resources into campaigns to fight the vice in collaborations with partners from the NGO sector, the practice continues to thrive unimpeded.

The rite, organised illegally in the region every year, has always attracted condemnation from the government and non-governmental agencies fighting the vice but in vain.

Kuria professionals have convened numerous anti FGM forums and described the practice as backward but no good results have been seen to date.

Every year during the month of December, the four Kuria clans of the Abanyabasi, Abagumbe, Abakira and Abairege ushers their young children into adulthood by physically cutting part of the reproductive organ in both male and female children.

Hundreds of girls are either forced or willingly ushered into the practice amid robust celebrations where gifts of all kinds are offered to the children initiated.

Bishop Kihengu warned of a conspiracy by some parents, guardians and some chiefs  to infringe on the rights of the children through very bad habits, which are retrogressive to the development of the youngsters.

He said from Kuria, Migori, Nyatike, Rongo, Awendo and Uriri sub-counties, cases of child labour perpetrated in goldmines, within households and in agricultural sector was rife and should be discouraged immediately.

Child murder, molestation, abandoning and dumping of fetuses, he added, had become the order of the day in the region and blamed it all on the rotten society that lack respect to human life.

“It is time religious leaders, parents, teachers, communities and politicians stood up to protect the children,” he said.

Bishop Kihengu said children should be allowed to lead normal lives and needed security, love, care and a sense of belonging, adding that children had a right to education, healthcare and shelter.

The religious leader said: “Almost everyday cases of children subjected to various forms of abuse are reported in the media and as a Church, we say; “Stop Child Violence, Promote Child rights.”

By George Agimba

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