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Work together to protect children’s rights-stakeholders told

Judges in Homabay County have called for stakeholders on children’s issues to work together for the good of the children.

Justice Waweru Kiarie the Homabay High Court judge said stakeholders have a responsibility to ensure that children are protected and brought up in the best way possible.

“Let’s always sit together as stakeholders and ask ourselves what our challenges here are so that we are able to address them and be able to propose corrective measures for better children’s services,” Justice Waweru said.

Justice Kiarie said stakeholders in the justice system come in when the children are in conflict with the law saying there are times when the stakeholders cooperation is not seen especially when a case is in court and the case needs to be expedited but the court is told the witnesses are not there.

He called upon all stakeholders to play their role accordingly to ensure justice for the children. The judge was speaking at the close of the Children Service Month at Oyugis law court grounds.

The judiciary has set aside the month of November for the service month for the children.

Samson Ongeri, the Oyugis law court magistrate said this particular day was set aside so that they discuss issues affecting the welfare of children.

“We have heard what the children have said, the children need a system where they are able to be handled in a humane way, as judiciary we have set aside a children’s room so that when these children come to court they don’t mix with adults, they will be held somewhere so that as they wait for their cases they are able to interact with other children,” he said. 

The magistrate thanked the partners for supporting the judiciary on child welfare issues saying the judiciary cannot do it alone.

Celebrations to mark the day included a  procession of children led by Oyugis law court officials through Oyugis town which saw magistrate Ongeri sensitize Oyugis market traders on the need to protect all children from sexual exploitation and child labour within Oyugis market.

The magistrate called on political leaders as stakeholders on children issues to support the justice process to speed up children’s cases.

“Support the doctors so that some of them are able to come to court because some of them come from very far places they need that assistance. Support the police as some of them do not have children offices. When children come to the police stations, they want somewhere they are able to open up and record their statement and feel that they are being recorded in confidence,” he said.

However, the magistrate thanked leaders who have taken a step in building police stations that have helped a lot but called for more support to other police stations that have challenges especially the lack of children’s desks where children are able to report when they are in conflict with the law.

“This means that we must collaborate as judiciary, police as national government leaders as stakeholders so that we work together,” he said.

Justice George Ong’ondo called for the need to train the children on good values, and national values as enshrined in the constitution   2010.

“Stakeholders, parents, children sponsors let’s continue supporting one another, working together and judiciary so that we continue to offer services to children as enshrined in article 539(2) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” Justice Ong’ondo said.

The service month came to an end with the launch of Children Court Users Committee (CCUC)

“Sometimes because we don’t spend a lot of time speaking about children’s issues, the children matters such as defilement and others are slipping through our fingers, so in the wisdom of Chief Justice Martha Koome, she instructed that all courts in the country should form children court users committee,” Ongeri said.

The Oyugis magistrate said the committee will handle specifically issues concerning children and sensitize the community on children’s rights and ensure justice for children prevails at all times.”

By Moseti Julius

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