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November 15, 2018

Court seeks to complete 420 children's cases in Meru this month

Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung'u and other judicial officers on Friday, November 9, 2018 /GERALD MUTETHIA
Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung'u and other judicial officers on Friday, November 9, 2018 /GERALD MUTETHIA
The Meru Law Courts expect to complete 420 children's cases this month. 
Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung'u said on Friday they include 370 child maintenance cases.
She said 50 involve children in conflict with the law or are victims of offences.
"We are planning to hold a service week where all children's cases will be brought before the court," Ndung'u, who was accompanied by judicial officers, told journalists. 
Stakeholders who include the police, judicial officers, children's officers, probation officers, the prosecution and advocates will be involved, she said.
The magistrate said children find themselves in court due to poor parenting, FGM, drug abuse, unrest in schools, pregnancy, truancy and early marriages among other issues.
Chief Justice David Maraga declared November of every year as the month to attend to children's cases.
It is significant because it coincides with the United Nations Charter month on Human Rights of Children. 
In January 2016, Justice Martha Koome formed a special task force to look into issues related to children's cases. 
It found that about 40 per cent of children, who are subjected to the formal justice system, ought not to.
The task force established that children, who appear as witnesses, have sometimes to wait up to three years because of delay of cases. 
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