DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD

State promises to protect children welfare, rights

CAS Ole Ntutu says children in the country make up almost half of Kenya’s population.

In Summary

• This year's theme was 30 Years After Adoption of the Charter: Accelerate Implementation of Agenda 2040 for “Africa Fit for Children”.

• Kenya has ratified both international and regional legal instruments for children.

Social Protection CAS Patrick ole Ntutu.
Social Protection CAS Patrick ole Ntutu.
Image: /FILE.

The government has committed to ensure the welfare and rights of children are upheld and protected.

Social Protection Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ole Ntutu made the commitment on Wednesday during the celebration of Day of the African Child. 

"This day gives us an opportunity to take stock of what we have done for our children as a country and reflect on what more needs to be done to ensure that they fully enjoy their rights," Ole Ntutu said.

Day of the African Child was first celebrated in Kenya in June 1991. It has become an annual event celebrated nationally and at the county level

This year's theme was 30 Years After Adoption of the Charter: Accelerate Implementation of Agenda 2040 for “Africa Fit for Children”.

Agenda 2040 was adopted in 2016 by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It prioritises steps towards empowering the children of Africa by the year 2040.

Ole Ntutu said children make up almost half of Kenya’s population.

"As a country, we have always endeavoured to ensure that we have laws, policies, institutions and programmes that promote child rights and welfare," he said.

Kenya has ratified both international and regional legal instruments for children. They include the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Equally, Kenya's Constitution recognises all international and regional laws that Kenya signed as a direct source of law.

Section 53 of the Constitution outlines the rights of children in Kenya and emphasises the consideration of the best interest of the child in every matter concerning them.

Ole Ntutu said the Children Act 2001, which is the primary law for safeguarding the rights and welfare of children, is a testimony to the government’s consistency in the protection of children.

He said the government is in the process of developing a new statute for children to address the inconsistencies between the Constitution and the Children Act, 2001.

It will also address emerging issues that result from changes and advancements in the various facets of child protection and welfare.