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KENYA: Children Sexuall Abuse On The Rise

A report released by CRADLE, a non-governmental organization indicates that cases of sexual abuses remain highest at 73 percent of all reported cases.

According to the report, 79 percent of girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years and 21 percent of boys in the same age bracket have been sexually abused.

The report says the most common forms of abuse include defilement, sodomy, incest, sexual assault, child pornography, defilement of mentally impaired children and child sexual exploitation among others.

The report further says despite the government's efforts to stamp it out, Female Genital Mutilation continues among children mostly due to cultural persuasions.

Early marriages and cohabitation with minors were also cited as a form of sexual violence representing five percent of reported cases.

Assistant minister for lands Bifwoli Wakoli cited Nairobi's slum areas as the most affected by the vice, adding that male neighbours and relatives were the most notorious perpetrators of child abuse.

However this does not rule out abuse happening in areas of higher economic standing with the report saying there could be cases that were not reported in a bid to protect the family name especially where the abuse occurred within a family setting.

Wakoli urged the government to enhance budgetary allocation towards fighting the vice and put in place a protection system for the victims .

Reforms

Unlike in 2007 when 75 percent of reported sexual abuse cases were from Nairobi, this year only 37 percent were from the city while the remaining were from other parts of the country.

Nominated member of parliament, Millie Odhiambo called for reforms in the judiciary to help streamline the handling of cases of child abuse.

She urged the government to act decisively to stem international human trafficking, pornography and child labour.

The report recommends reforms in law implementation including empowerment of courts and investment in modern methods of gathering evidence on child sexual abuses and proper prosecution of cases.

The report also recommends enhancing medico-legal links in cases of sexual violence, monitoring cases of violence and need to enact laws and policies to respond to emerging cases of violence such as cyberspace crimes.

SOURCE: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

AUTHORS: Metabel Mainya and Rose Kamau

URL: Click here

DATE: 01/10/2009

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