“I commit to walk with, work with and support all stakeholders for the protection of children from all forms of violence.” This was the promise made by Hon. Esther Passaris, Nairobi County’s Woman Representative on 7 December 2017. KELIN working with Equality Now and other civil society partners convened a National Dialogue on the Protection of Children from Sexual and Gender Based Violence: Keeping them Safe in Schools, Homes and the Community. This Dialogue was informed by Equality Now’s project highlighting the need to create safe spaces for children. The project titled, 25 Conversations in 25 Schools in Africa, unearthed that children between 12 and 18 are silently suffering in the hands of caregivers that abuse the position of trust in which they have been placed.
Cognisant of the growing problem of predatory sexual violence on children in spaces that are normally considered to be safe, the dialogue had the following objectives:
- To create an experience sharing platform that allows children to share their perspectives on sexual gender based experience;
- To showcase an art gallery that encourages children to break the silence on SGBV and speak up; and
- To bring together various stakeholders for practical commitments, interventions and solutions on SGBV.
Key among the stakeholders present at the dialogue were: The Teachers Service Commission, religious leaders, Councils of Elders, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, National Police Service, civil society and the National Gender and Equality Commission. The dialogue saw stakeholders commit to reclaim safe spaces for children at home, schools and in the community.
This dialogue contributes to KELIN’s work on access to sexual and reproductive justice for adolescent girls and young women within the society.
To contribute to the discussions on this forum follow KELIN on our social media platforms:
Twitter: @KELINKenya using hashtag #ICommit #breakingthebarriers
For more information contact:
Programme Officer Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights
Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV & AIDS (KELIN)
4th Floor, Somak Building, Mombasa Road