By Raisa Okwaras
The National Police Service (NPS) of Kenya yesterday cautioned politicians and parents against having children in political rallies as it is unsafe for them.
On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, the NPS took to its Twitter account where it declared the unsafety that such environments pose to kids. With that, the service warns parents and guardians from having their children accompany them to political rallies.
“Political rallies are NOT safe for kids. It is putting little ones in harm’s way. Rallies are emotive and risky spaces,” read part of the tweet.
Just two weeks ago, UNICEF called upon politicians and parents to bar children from accessing or getting involved in political rallies.
“Children involved in political rallies are vulnerable to violence, road accidents, and unhealthy behavior such as the use of alcohol. UNICEF calls upon politicians as well as parents and caregivers to ensure that no child is exposed to unnecessary harm and that the political campaign is conducted respecting the rights of children,” said the UNICEF Representative of Papua New Guinea Dr.Claudes Kamenga.
According to UNICEF, barring children from getting involved in political rallies promotes their protection from exploitation, manipulation, and abuse.
As we are nearing the General elections which are to happen in August 2022, the political heat in the country continues to rise. With this, some power-hungry political aspirants may take advantage of unsuspecting children and use them in political rallies where they are exploited for selfish gains.
For instance, last month, the Kibra Community Peace and Security Committee Chairperson Humphrey Lando stated in an interview with Ghetto Radio that parents should be vigilant of children’s safety during this electioneering period. It is because some rogue political aspirants in his area were using children as part of their political rallies.
However, the Inspector Hilary Nzioki Mutyambai-led service aims at promoting children’s safety at a time when they are vulnerable to harm.
What ways are you incorporating to promote child safety during the incoming heated political times in Kenya? Comment below.