Many children in the county are molested and sexually harassed but the cases are never reported and even when they are, perpetrators bribe witnesses thus hindering justice. According to the Chief of the children’s department in the county Simon Ogao, very few cases of child harassment reach the officers in charge.
Ogao has urged Marsabit county residents to cooperate with the departments charged with protecting children against mistreatment in disclosing cases of injustice against children. He said that people are normally silent when children are mistreated not knowing that the affected children suffer psychologically and physically. He emphasized on the fact that everyone should take part in the fight against child oppression. In regard to this, he advised that any person who has witnessed child mistreatment should report is to the relevant authorities such as the police or directly call 116 which will connect them to the children’s department.
In more heartbreaking news, most children in the county are forced to become independent at a very young age unlike their peers in other parts of the country. This is due to the fact that their parents fail to properly take care of them as well as the increased cost of living. It has been observed that a large percentage of children start working at a very young age.
According to Mohamed Hassan, who oversees the children’s unit at GOAL Kenya in Marsabit, many children are after classes. Among the things they do are grazing and cultivation.
The plight of the Marsabit child does not end there. Some teachers in primary school are romantically involved with their students.
The good news is that the government and other stakeholders addressing children’s issues are in the process of ensuring that all children have equal rights under the new constitution.
Speaking at a workshop to sensitize the media about children’s issues, Mohamed Hassan pointed out that Kenya is celebrating 25 years since the ratification of the convention of children’s rights in the country.
Hassan has revealed that four main principles which are live, development, participation and protection, developing children and involving them in policy-making are among the strategies set by the central government to protect children’s rights.