TJRC wants children to be given special attention by the state

The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission acting chair Tecla Namachanja Wanjala has urged the government to address the needs of children and support effective participation in future. She said children are often exposed to serious abuse such as torture, female genital mutilation, forced labour, rape and prostitution.

“It is unfortunate that during violent conflicts children are often the most vulnerable and thus form a particular target of human rights violations,” Namachanja said during the children’s hearings at the KICC yesterday. Through thematic and institutional hearings the commission seeks to investigate the context, causes and circumstances under which specific violations occurred and unveil their systematic character and motives.

The commission particularly seeks to unveil the ways in which violations reflect a pattern or systematic character of discrimination and exclusion. Children from Mombasa, Kisumu, Nairobi, Eldoret, Nakuru were present to testify before the commission by sharing their stories. Namachanja said the testimonies will be per selected representative children ‘s resulting from previous statement taking activities and hearings.

She said the TJRC will be able to better identify institutional and policy measures that will be taken into account in order to prevent the violations from happening again. Today the Commission will conduct institutional hearings which will create a space for organization and institutions working with children.

This include child protection agencies and key government ministries which will share experiences and expertise on behalf of the children. She said during the process stakeholders will be asked to present recommendations in relation to their experiences. The commission recently conducted individual hearings in all regions countrywide apart from the coast and listened to the truth of more than 500 Kenyans.

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