African Children Summit; It’s our Responsibility to protect our Children’s Right to Participate-CJ Koome

April 12, 2023

Chief justice Martha Koome has urged stakeholders and the public to protect the right of child participation emplacing it’s the adults responsibly to ensure it promoted.

This she said can be accomplished by providing safe spaces for children to engage and deliberately ensuring they have been heard.

In a speech read by Justice Teresiah Matheka during the African Children Summit on Tuesday, the CJ said the event is a great platform for children to take centre stage in providing solutions on issues that affects them.

She said that children are victims of climate change, economic changes, political instabilities and pandemics thus it is important we create spaces that ensure their protection but only through their lenses.

Further she reckoned it sets a foundation for stake holders and policy makers to have conversations with children, to listen, understand and address children matters not only in Kenya but also in Africa.

In addition she said the summit is timely as now more than ever before children centered dialogues for children and by children are needed to address issues affecting them.

She urged all stakeholders to listen to children’s’ concerns and collaborate to ensure African child is safe and protected.

The Judiciary she said has made stride to promote children’s’ rights for instance through the judiciary children service month were children cases are given precedence.

Addressing the children’s she argued them to speak up for themselves, their friends and also their country noting that they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up as this right is provided in the constitution.

On her part justice Matheka underscoring the importance of child participation said the children justice system can only be improved if the children’s’ input is given precedence.

‘We can only improve our children justice system if the children input on how it should look like is given precedence, otherwise we as adults will put in a system that is not child-friendly,’ she said.

To ensure that children are not re-traumatized while testifying during court cases, she said, the judiciary through the Office of Public Prosecution have installed child –friendly court rooms.

These rooms are fitted with cameras that the children use to testify away from their abusers.


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