Hola, Tana River County, 21st June 2019…Kenya joins African Countries to celebrate the Day of the African Child…Parents to take up their parental responsibilities seriously as child neglect has become rampant in our country, Says Labour and Social Protection CS, Amb. Ukur Yatani.
The CS made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by a Senior Deputy Secretary in his ministry, Mr. Ngei Mutinda, during celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child.
This year’s national celebrations, whose theme was: “Humanitarian Crisis in Africa: Children’s Rights First,” were held at the Catholic Vocational Training Centre in Hola Town, Tana River County.
The CS was emphatic that Kenya would put great efforts in ensuring that children get maximum protection as stipulated in the Charter.
Yatani said his Ministry was committed in addressing any gaps that may exist between policy and practice for children’s rights so that they were realized to the fullest.
He called for concerted efforts by State and non-State actors to address children’s unique protection risks that required strengthening of the child protection system in Kenya, especially those in areas prone to humanitarian crises such as drought, floods and community clash-prone areas.
“These children require rescue, psychosocial support, tracing, reintegration, education, health care and other basic needs,” Yatani said, adding that “Children in humanitarian situations are often ignored and abused due to cultural norms and children’s vulnerability”
Yatani said children faced inhuman treatment such as torture, forced recruitment into gangs, slavery, sexual exploitation such as defilement and forced prostitution during or after the crises.
“Children with disabilities and unaccompanied children during emergency situations face more challenges than able bodied ones. It is important that duty bearers evaluate and re-evaluate their actions and interventions in order to address the needs and rights of all children during and after a crisis,” he said.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the National Council for Children’s Services (NCCS) led by Chairperson Joyce Ngugi, as well as Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana and Woman Representative Rehema Hassan attended.
Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana asked parents to take great care of their children and ensure they were not recruited into criminal gangs.
He lamented that some parents had been asking him to intervene whenever their children went missing only to learn later that the children had been recruited into criminal groupings including terrorist groups.
Joyce Ngugi, chair(NCCS) also added that as the National Council for Children’s Services, we are committed to support and champion for the rights and welfare of children every time, everywhere. We envision a “protected and empowered child.”
Earlier this month in Kapenguria a buildup event was held as part of activities to celebrate the day.