The Kenyan government has announced that it will abolish all privately owned orphanages and children’s homes within the next eight years.
This was said by the Cabinet Secretary of Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore saying this is aimed at combating child trafficking.
She said the children would be placed in family and community care, which offered a better environment for them.
Speaking in Isiolo County on Sunday, she that the government was already in the process of reforming children’s homes and orphanages.
She added that only government-owned homes, which are under the Child Welfare Society of Kenya will be allowed to operate.
“In the next eight years private homes will not exist. We need to prepare in order to absorb those children,” she said on Sunday during an inspection of children’s care facilities under construction by Kenya’s government.
However, she said the government will continue housing children in facilities managed by the Child Welfare Society of Kenya, the government agency tasked with the care, protection, welfare and adoption of children in Kenya.
An estimated 45,000 -50,000 children living in about 855 private charitable children’s institutions and government-run institutions as of November 2022.
The 2022 Children’s Act sought to Kenya phase out private children’s homes and orphanages It recommends placing children without families in alternative care such as guardianship, foster care placement and adoption to curb the abuse and trafficking of children.
“The reason why we are closing them up is because we have been given directions under the children’s Act that the private homes should be closed. They have also been routes for child trafficking, so government wants us to retain the institutions that we have under the child welfare society of Kenya,” Bore stated.