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Judiciary raises concern over cases of child trafficking in Naivasha

The Judiciary has raised the red flag over a rise in case of child abuse in Naivasha and Gilgil with reports of child trafficking from neighbouring countries for sexual purposes.

According to data from the Naivasha Law Courts, there were close to 150 criminal cases being handled in the facility with the number on the rise in the last one year.

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To address this, the court dedicated the whole month of November to resolving the cases some of which have been lagging for the last ten years.

This came as the lack of a child protection unit and the rising numbers of minors being held in prison were identified as the emerging challenges in protecting the minors.

According to Naivasha Principal Magistrate Juliana Ndeng’eri, of the criminal cases facing the minors, sexual abuse were leading with the numbers on the rise.

She noted that Naivasha, being a transit town, had contributed to the cases of child trafficking with some of the victims being ferried from Congo and Rwanda.

“We have seen a rise in cases of child abuse on the rise and some of them involve minors who were trafficked from neighbouring countries for sexual exploitation purposes,” she said.

Addressing the press during a meeting with the Court Users Committee (CUC), she said that the judiciary had set the month of November to deal with all pending cases involving minors.

Ndeng’eri said that Naivasha law courts had 143 criminal cases involving minors and called on relatives who had a pending case to come turn up for the cases.

She added that lack of a children protection unit in the town, inadequate magistrates and wide area of coverage for the courts had impacted negatively on handling of cases.

“We are asking well-wishers to assist complete the child protection unit in Naivasha so that we can hasten dispensation of justice mainly when the minors are on holiday,” she said.

Naivasha sub-county children officer John Chege said that cases of child abuse were rampant in informal settlements in Naivasha with neglect, physical abuse and defilement leading.

Chege added that compared to last year, the numbers of neglect were on the rise adding that the Children Service Month would help in reducing the numbers.

“We are appealing to members of the public who have cases involving minors to come out this month so that all the pending matters can be resolved,” he said.

The coordinator Naivasha GBV cluster groups John Kinuthia blamed the rise in cases of domestic violence, deep rooted culture and substance abuse.

Kinuthia said that awareness by community based organisations had assisted creating awareness on affected families mainly in far flung areas of Naivasha and Gilgil.

“Previously we had cases of Kangaroo courts dealing with cases of sexual abuse incidents but due to sensitization this has come to an end,” he said.

Silas Mwiti
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