The Launch of the Sexual and Gender based Violence and Child Justice Strategy

June 26, 2023

Launch of SGBV and Child Justice Strategy at the Kibera Law Courts Nairobi. 26th June, 2023

The Chief Justice of Kenya Hon Martha Koome has today launched the Child Justice and SGBV Strategy and Convicted Sexual Offenders Electronic Register at Kibera law Courts Nairobi.

The initiatives are on spar with the strategic focus of the judiciary to transform systems into people centered one that upholds the dignity and rights of especially the victims of child abuse and exploitation, and SGBV.

Chief Justice Martha Koome Speaking at the Launch in Kibera law Courts

Speaking at the Launch, Justice Martha Koome said, “Children are our future as much as they are our present, they have rights and dignity that must be respected and protected by the Law. Children also have special needs and vulnerabilities that require special attention and care and that is why, we are creating a system that nurtures and safeguards our children, a system that not only punishes but also rehabilitate and reintegrate our children back to the society.”

When everyone upholds children rights, priorities rehabilitation, promote collaboration and early intervention then we can create a society that nurtures and supports its youngest members.

Guided by the Child Justice Strategy, the judiciary and all the actors in the administration of justice, will work towards ensuring that children have access to justice that is child friendly, child sensitive and child appropriate. Martha Koome

Martha Koome also promised to establish children’s courts in addition to the ones that are in operation, stating that the Judiciary will promote the diversion of children, focusing on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and the alternative justice system {AJS}, by allowing children in conflict with the law to correct their paths without the burden of a criminal record.

The initiative will most importantly include establishing trauma-informed courts that provide a secure and nurturing environment for child victims of abuse and putting in place a child justice information management system and development of preventive tools that will govern the efforts of court users committee to support and protect children’s rights and their well being.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu

Philomena Mwilu, The Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya also stated during the launch that, Children are victims of sexual and gender based violence, and they are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society,

” The interventions and policies we launch here today will go a long way to improving Access to Justice to vulnerable groups. The core of this is protecting our children, our boys, girls and young women and providing a safe, fair, just and equitable environment in which we all can flourish and reach our full potential.” said Philomena.

In Kenya, there has been a significant increase in violations against the rights of women, Men, Boys and girls since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. The SGBV strategy is a hope for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and it is aimed to place the needs and the priority of SGBV victims and survivors at the forefront of judicial responses.

We are now embarking on this transformative journey to usher in a new era in our judicial system, this is a journey that we have begun and reaffirms our commitment to the protection of the vulnerable and the marginalized in our society. Martha Koome

As of 2020, the Kibera Court Users Committee registered 132 cases of sexual offenses, 138 cases in 2021, 136 cases in 2022 and 76 cases from January 2023 to date. However, the cases that have been completed in 2020, 2021,2022 and 2023 are 108, 175, 50 and 8 respectively.

Mr. Riechi Meroka of Kibera Court Users Committee, during the launch, asked Koome to provide virtual equipment like TVs to help them have virtual hearings particularly of children and vulnerable persons so as to speed up the process of finalizing these cases of children as it will minimize adjournments because advocates, Doctors and formal witnesses will be able to access the courtroom at the comfort of their own spaces.

Mr. Riechi Meroka of Kibera Court Users Committee

Further,  Riechi also asked the chief justice to extend a hand in providing some facilitation from the NCAJ programs to enhance their feasibility in visiting the Kabete children’s Homes including Langata prison which is also housing children who are accompanying convicts or persons in remand, which will enable them to conduct fact finding missions on penal facilities.

The Convicted Sexual Offenders Register

The automation of the convicted sexual offenders register is a step towards a safe and secure society, a society where accountability and justice rule. The register, which is established under the Sex Offenses Act, serves as a vital database, keeping records of all convicted offenders, which will ensure easy access to information on convicted sex offenders, thus enabling speedy justice.





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