Head of European Union Delegation to Kenya, Ambassador Stefano Dejak with Cynthia Muthange, a class eight pupil from Kirigiti Rehabilitation School, in Kiambu.He said children particularly girls are exposed to many forms of violence but the majority of cases go unnoticed, unaddressed or, at times, ignored by the criminal justice system. PHOTO BY KAMAU MAICHUHIE.
About 12,000 children in the juvenile justice system have benefited from a three-year programme to protect their rights.
The programme – supported by the European Union and the government- was set up to help eliminate forms of violence against children under the State’s custody and protection.
EU ambassador Stefano Dejak said children, particularly girls are exposed to many forms of violence with majority of cases going unnoticed by the criminal justice system.
“Girls in the juvenile justice system are at high risk of serious violations of their human rights. Every child should be treated with dignity as a unique and valuable human being with an individual personality, distinct needs, interests and privacy,” said Mr Dejak.
He said through the Juvenile Justice Programme, the EU complements government efforts to promote compliance with international human rights obligations to protect girls from all forms of violence.
The ambassador made the remarks at Kirigiti Girls Rehabilitation Centre in Kiambu County when he toured the facility, which is one of the beneficiaries of the programme.
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So far, more than 6,000 children have benefited from counseling, education activities, reintegration and legal representation under the programme.
Children held by the State for protection like in children’s prisons are at times neglected exposing them to all forms of violence. The majority of children in custodial care are held for minor crimes and are first time offenders.