CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF ADOLESCENCE (CSA)

Create Safer Environment for Children’s Growth

Article By Esther Mwende

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is identified as any human being under the age of 18 years. For this reason, the fragility of children warrants them special protection, and the UN has been keen on elaborating this safety under the rights of children. Attention is an effort that must go into the protection of vulnerable minors in society. The nature of child rights reverts our ideas about the nature of society; all children are born equal and deserve freedom, dignity, and rights. Child rights carry the hope for freedom, justice, and peace for the global community. Their importance is therefore challenged when certain parties opt to attack, mock, dismiss or violate these rights. Cases of defilement and even murder of children have been on the rise in Kenya. Last week President Uhuru joined the global community during the Education Summit in supporting quality education for all children especially girls through investment in education including digital, in Kenya such investment risks going in vain if we fail to protect children’s rights from their homes, community, and within the school. We must begin by protecting children from sexual exploitation contributing to the high numbers of early pregnancies among adolescents, abuse, and neglect. Current efforts and commitments in place show hope and promise for a better future for children in Kenya. Through continuing the defense and advocacy for children’s rights within legal institutions, and within basic communities, our country moves closer to realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling, first by ensuring children are safe and protected not just within school but also within the community. It’s the government’s obligation to protect all children however this is a full time job and involves every member of the community to create a safer environment for children’s growth and development. Therefore, everyone must play a role within their capacity. Esther Mwende is a Big Sister, Reproductive Health Champion. Kiambu

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