By Constance Ndeleko
The Kenya National Bureau of Statics Economic Survey (KNBS) of 2020, highlights child protection cases projecting data from the year 2017-2019. This particular information shades light on progress, shortcomings and how we can improve our approach towards protecting children in Kenya.
With notable changes on our economic structure in the world it widely affect that of Africa and our countries are not spared from it. Actually, gaining data from surveys encourages better methods of approach for the future in protecting children’s rights.
With search incredible data, it help us foresee on budgeting and planning of how we can come up with appropriate measure that will encompass every child in ensuring no child is left behind on child protection issue.
Children rights to protection is well documented in the 2010 constitution of Kenya under (article 53) and it is cognizant of the need for children to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labor.
Over the years cases of child abuse have been on the rise with some document and some un-documented. However, with platforms like the 116 the toll free line from ChildLine Kenya can give us a loop of cases being report and we can come with sustainable approaches to protect our children.
The data collected by KNBS presents that; under child protection:
The total number of reported cases increased by 22.7 per cent from 142,749 in 2018 to 175,087 in 2019.
The Increase in caseloads over the years is attributed to an increase in the number of newly opened Children Offices (79 in number across the country), and better data collection system (Child Protection Information Management Systems (CPIMS)).
There is a notable increase in the following cases: child trafficking (34.9 per cent), violence against children (32.7 per cent), displaced children (25.6 per cent), children in conflict with the law (17. 8 per cent), and vulnerable children (14.0 per cent).
The number of cases reported due to child neglect also increased significantly by 36.4 per cent from 82,001 in 2018 to 111,866 in 2019 and account for the majority (91.6 per cent) of the violence against children cases reported.
The projection looks at cases that happened between 2017 -2019 in the following categories.
- Child Custody includes: Abandoned, Custody, Disturbed paternity, Parental abduction.
- Child in need of registration: inheritance/ succession and birth registration.
- Child trafficking: Abduction, trafficked child, child labor and unlawful confinement.
- Children in Conflict with the law: Child delinquency, child offender, child radicalization, child truancy and drug and substance abuse.
- Displaced Children: Internally displaced child and refugee children.
- Violence against children: all forms of child abuse including child marriage, Fgm and Child sexual abuse etc.
- Vulnerable children: children with disabilities, children infect with HIV/AIDS, mother child, head child etc.
With the above categories we could tell increase of cases over the years as projected in page 328 of KNBS Economic survey on the link below
The child protection intervention approach included looking for alternative family care, referring the cases to other agencies, family reconciliations & support, repatriation and reunification, diversion and counselling.
Children allowed to be fostered by guardians increased by 43.8 per cent from 475 in 2018 to 683 in 2019 while those adopted increased by 39.5 per cent from 119 in 2018 to 166 in 2019.
Similarly, the number of children referred for family support increased by 30.0 per cent from 3,802 in 2018 to 4,944 in 2019 while those released to their parents increased from 1.591 in 2018 to 2.014 in 2019.
On the other hand, the number of children referred to courts decreased from 9,115 to 8,098 and those referred for judicial orders declined from 750 to 452 children in the period under review.
Find the link to seek clarification of each on the data given below on page 328 of the KNBS Economic survey
I believe with the above data were are able to make projections and come up with suitable responses on how to approach each case, where we need to put more effort by encouraging children to participate in decision making and community involvement to supplement their indulgent on disseminating the gospel of child protection.
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