By Kevin Anyonge
The European Union’s election observer mission has been in the country (Kenya) deliberating on way forward as the election approaches and how Kenya is prepared and how it will execute its election, it’s almost a decade ago since thousands of people died and thousands others displaced during the post-election violence of 2007 which was termed as the worst turmoil Kenya experienced since its independence of 1963.
The European Union is working on neutrality and independence in their observation mission. The Chief Observer European Union-EOM Marietje Schaake said “it is no secret that our concerns about the possible outbreak of violence, this is inevitable and it is clear that it would create a situation where everybody loses’’
With this sentiments expressed we have to ponder on the importance of peace on child welfare, since children suffer immensely when there is violence and benefit less in peace. Children suffered for long without proper rights being recognized thus the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), therefore the mandate is for the state to ensure children are protected by putting measures in placed in case of violence.
Each Kenyan Individual has a role to play before and after election by ensuring peace prevails. Schaake continued to say “We observe but the Organisation,the safety and integrity of this election are responsibility of relevant state parties here, that is responsibility grows in proportion to the influence different actors have over the 2017 election.’’
The state and every Kenyan must cushion children from possibly negative consequences of violence, they are young in the development stages and have a right to be guided. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has stipulated special protection for vulnerable children by being protected from all forms of child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
We should learn the importance of peace to our children by recognizing their mental, emotional, physical and psychological vulnerability, they need everyone’s care in a special way by committing to respect their rights. Our children are value in the society and when exposed to acts of violence this, turn of events will transit and affect their adulthood in future.
In addition Schaake said “Our findings will be first presented in a preliminary statement that we expect to present a few days after the elections, but a team will stay on in Kenya to monitor the results and possible appeals as part of our entire monitoring process.’’
Many individuals have ignored the children factor in any election on the basis of; Lack of awareness of the nature and extent of the impact of violence on children, Ineffective lobbying by Child welfare advocates and lack of access to information on child-conscious policies and programs.
Our children are habitually sidelined while more vocal and aggressive groups ensure their own representation. Peace measures in this era demonstrate absent detailed references to children during peace processes, post-violence programs and resources are not allocated to reflect children’s needs.
Kevin is a journalist with Mtoto News
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