It is a collective responsibility of the society to ensure teen mothers are re-integrated into childhood the UN representative Prof. Philip Jaffe Vice Chair, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has said.
He said this would ensure their childhood was not robbed from them as they would have the opportunity to interact with their peers.
He said organizations should be established where children of theses mothers can be taken care of while the mothers go back to school and interact with their peers.
‘We need organizations that can take care of children of teen mothers so that they can also spend time being children and go back to school, so that they can interact with girls who aren’t parents yet, play and interact with others,’ he said.
In addition he said the government and public in general should ensure pregnant and teen mothers are not discriminated when they seek medical attention or go but to school.
He added that it’s a bad reflection on any society that fails teenage mothers by discriminating against them and keeping them away from school.
Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children said discrimination and marginalization of these girls causes a lot of suffering as they miss out on school and other opportunities consequently having a long lasting mental health issues.
He urged communities and society to embrace these girls by ensuring their right to education and health care are safeguarded but also making feel them wanted and important members of the society
‘We should not only safeguard their right to education but also make them feel they belong,’ she said
They were speaking during the three day event African Children Summits held in Nairobi where over 700 children were in attendance.