Child abuse cases highest in Nairobi, official reveals

Friday, November 5th, 2021 00:00 |
The number of street children has reportedly risen to 20,000. Photo/FILE

Nairobi records up to 200 cases of violence against children every day, the latest data reveals.

County Children Services Co-ordinator Patrick Isadia disclosed that each of the nine sub-counties record about 30 cases each day.

“It is disheartening that in every single minute we have a child abused. These children experience the worst form of abuse among them physical, mental, psychological and sexual within the family set up which is not reported,” said Isadia.

The official, who was speaking during an event at Kibera Primary School, said out of 2.45 million children, 10 per cent  experience violence at home, school, church and communities.

Covid crisis

He revealed that incidents of trafficking and kidnapping were increasing at an alarming rate and urged the public to be vigilant and report the perpetrators to the relevant authorities.

Isadia said Covid-19 pandemic has led to the rise in the number of street children in Nairobi which now stands at 20,000 and called for urgent intervention.

“We are planning to have alternative family care where stakeholders can come together and see if they can foster or adopt them so that the children do not suffer in the streets,” he said, adding that orphans were usually not taken care of by guardians as expected.

He attributed family problems such as economic strains and separation of parents as some of the factors that contribute to abandonment and abuse of children.

“It is sad that such situations have made these children undergo sexual abuse and exploitation for commercial purposes or get into drug abuse,” he said.

Chief of Child Protection Unicef Kenya Yoko Kobayashi said an estimated one billion children between the ages of two and 17 years are exposed to physical, sexual, emotional violence or neglect every year globally.

Protect the future

Kobayashi said violence affects children from all backgrounds and cultures. 

“It can scar young people for life causing disabilities, injuries and long-lasting emotional harm,” she said.

“We have a lot of work to do, the national authority helpline received more than 1,400 cases relating child abuse between January and September this year with neglect, defilement and critical violence being the leading cases,” said Kobayashi. 

Speaking at the event, the Coordinator of Kibera Justice Centre and Advocate for Kibera Community Jamia Abdulraham said the community will work with the government and other partners to ensure children are safe and their voices are heard.

“Children have a right to be raised well so that they can contribute in community development.

We must implement the laws and make use of them,” she said, adding that if children are referred to as the future, they should be protected.   - KNA

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