Magistrate Warns Against Concealing Defilement Cases.
Kenyans have been warned by the Children’s Magistrate in the local courts to stop hiding defilement cases, which are endangering the future of children.
According to Mary Otindo the Children’s Magistrate at the Machakos law courts, courts are now aware that unreported cases of defilement and early marriages still have an impact on children.
“Many defilement cases and early marriages are not reported in courts, they are being handled by relatives and few local administrators. Let them be warned that they are violating children’s rights and they won’t be spared,” said Otindo.
At the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos town, where more than 600 students from 38 schools in Machakos were present, she delivered the remarks on Friday during the Day of the African Child.
Otindo also pointed out that it is illegal for any parent to prevent a child under the age of 18 from receiving an education and force them into employment because doing so amounts to child labor, which is against the law.
Otindo forewarned that any parent who refuses to provide for her child’s education and employment will be in violation of the law, which forbids child labor and should end immediately.
She also issued a warning to those parents who are pressuring their kids into getting married young.
“It has come to our attention that there are some people who are forcing their children to get married in order for them to be given money, this is punishable by the law and should come to an end,” Otindo said.
To make sure that kids receive all the necessities, she said they would work together with all pertinent authorities.
“It is the right for every child to get all the basic needs as stipulated in the constitution, no one should violate them at all, and those who are introducing children to gang activities we are coming for you,” added Otindo.
Salome Muthama, the Machakos County Coordinator for Children’s Services, was present and urged parents to stand up for their kids when they face injustices rather than be intimidated by others.
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“Parents should be the first defenders of their children and they should take the initiative of protecting their children at whatever cost,” added Muthama.
The Machakos Sub County Children Officer, Emily Kimanzi, issued a warning to parents who neglect their children, saying that they will be subject to the full force of the law.
It should be added that both parents, not just one, are responsible for raising a child. To avoid having to defend themselves in court, each parent should attend to the needs of the child.
Every June 16th, people around the world observe the day of the African Child to remember the Soweto uprising of 1976, when black children protested inadequate education and many of them were killed.