The six largest child-focused agencies: ChildFund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children International, SOS Children’s Villages International, Terre des Hommes International Federation, and World Vision International joined forces to push for a quick enactment of the Children Bill 2021. The organisations (are working closely with other CSOs, part of the leadership of the Senate and the National Assembly to ensure the Children Bill is prioritised and fast-tracked. The Children Bill (2021), tabled before the National Assembly for the first reading in October 2021, seeks to among other things, address specific emerging issues that affect children for the realisation of their rights. Terre des Hommes Netherlands is committed to ensuring the protection and safeguarding of children’s rights for their well-being.
The Bill makes provisions for the roles of the county governments in ensuring better management of children issues in the county. County governments will now have an active role in the advisory councils and are mandated to make direct budgetary allocations for child welfare schemes. The Bill will ensure better planning, budgeting, implementation and adequate resource allocation towards child welfare programmes.
The Bill introduces provisions for social security to enable a child whose parent or guardian is unable to support him or her to have access to alternative care services as a fulfilment of the provisions of Article 43 (3) of the Kenyan constitution. Children will not only have access to basic essentials (like food), but they will also have their basic rights protected as well. For instance, with access to education, they will be less vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
The Bill makes provisions for alignment to article 53 of the Constitution as well as other legislative and administrative provisions. The sections enhance various provisions and therefore provide sanctions on ending all forms of violence against children in Kenya, freedom from discrimination, access to child-friendly justice systems including the expedition of cases, diversion and legal aid. Children can seek protection in established structures such as child protection centres and child protection units and will be able to access services for the full realization of their rights.
To ensure children receive adequate services, the bill makes provisions for the development and maintenance of a data management system for various categories of children by The Director of Children’s Services. This categorisation of children will ensure they receive adequate services based on the specific needs and gaps identified. The data collated will inform sound policies, laws and allocation of financial resources towards child welfare programming.
We are working tirelessly to ensure the fast enactment of the Children Bill so that Kenyan children can enjoy their rights.
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