Human rights body Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) yesterday mentioned politics-related child abuse as one of the risks to peaceful and credible elections in the upcoming general elections.
KNHCR chairperson Roselyn Odede stated this during a media briefing on the level of election preparedness on August 3, 2022, at Nairobi’s Stanley Sarova Hotel.
Other threats include election-related violence, fears, assault, insecurity, loss of lives, misuse of social media and public resources, and bias toward election campaign venues.
Forms of child abuse in relation to campaigns and elections include the use of children in political rallies despite the warning by the commission. Such instances abuse the children’s right of life and safety since it exposes them to dangers such as political violence, foul language, and possible loss of life.
So far, at least one hundred and forty-six cases of child misuse have been recorded. With that, KNCHR has announced that it is planning to deploy over a hundred staff members this coming week. They will join a hundred and fifty field monitors already on the ground and assist in monitoring, documenting, and reporting possible incidents that could harm the peacefulness and integrity of the general elections on August 9, 2022.
The human rights body has also warned the Independent Elections and Boundaries and Commission (IEBC) and the National Police Service (NPS) that the failure to handle those threats could have a negative effect on the results.
For instance, the number of elections-related deaths documented by KNCHR so far stands at five. Two resulted from road accidents that involved vehicles from political aspirants. Yet, the other three lost their lives from injuries allegedly inflicted on them by rival political parties.
In addition, the closure of schools to allow for their use as polling stations for elections poses a higher risk of insecurity.