The 2nd International Conference on Children’s Protection (ICCP) saw a remarkable gathering of young minds at the forefront of change in a resplendent display of determination and unity. The event, held from November 22nd to November 24th, 2023, brought together passionate delegates from the Kenya Children Assembly, who left an indelible mark with their resounding call to action on the theme, “Evidence to Action.”
The conference emphasized the undeniable fact that children are the architects of a better present, not just the future. These young champions addressed the pressing issue of violence against children with unwavering resolve, presenting a comprehensive set of recommendations that echo the collective heartbeat of a generation determined to reshape their destiny.
Counselors for Every Child: A Haven of Hope
The provision of free counselors in schools and communities is at the top of these children’s agenda. Recognizing the importance of children’s mental and emotional well-being, they envision a world in which every child has access to the support and guidance needed to navigate the challenges of growing up.
Education as a Fundamental Right
The children’s assembly advocates for their educational journey’s empowerment, urging the hiring of more Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) teachers across the country. Their plea extends to making quality education an unbreakable right, with increased funding for both primary and secondary schools.
Measures to Include Every Child
To bridge the gap, the assembly calls for increased support for children with special needs. This includes not only an increase in specialized equipment, but also a strong call for inclusivity in bursary allocations to ensure that financial assistance reaches those who need it the most.
School Feeding Programs for Everyone
The conference generates a significant demand, urging the implementation of school feeding programs in every corner of the country. The assembly recognizes that a well-fed child has a major effect not just in academic performance but also in the overall development of a healthy, thriving society.
Fighting Child Abuse and Neglect
The assembly’s recommendations echo a battle cry against violence, calling for thorough investigations and harsh punishments for perpetrators. The children demand not only justice, but also a societal shift in which violence against them is no longer tolerated.
Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: National Children’s Assembly
Young people demand the establishment and empowerment of Children Assemblies at all administrative levels, mirroring the structure of the National Parliament. This call is accompanied by a request for budgetary allocations and collaborative partnerships to bring these assemblies to life and ensure the representation of children’s interests at the highest levels of governance.
Getting Around Safely in the Virtual World
With a keen understanding of the digital age, the assembly calls for capacity building, awareness programs, and advocacy for children’s digital literacy. In an age when the virtual world merges with reality, the children emphasize the importance of arming themselves with the knowledge to safely navigate this space.
Bringing Families Together Against Violence
Recognizing the importance of parents, the children demand that they be included in discussions about violence against children. They hope to create a united front against the scourge of violence by encouraging collaboration, with parents as critical allies in the fight for a safer world.
Putting an End to Harmful Practices
With wisdom beyond their years, the children urge society to confront and eradicate harmful cultural practices that affect them. Their plea is a clarion call for a cultural shift that prioritizes the well-being and dignity of all children as societal values.
Enough Child Officers Across the Country
Recognizing the importance of child protection services, the assembly insists on the recruitment of a sufficient number of Children Officers to ensure the well-being of the nation’s youth. Their demand is simple: every child deserves a guardian to ensure that their rights are not only acknowledged but vigorously defended.
In a final appeal, the children ask the government to investigate the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in child protection. The call is for stringent measures to ensure that these organizations provide quality services while working toward the common goal of protecting the nation’s children.
Lastly, the children’s voices, amplified through the ICCP’s corridors, echo an urgent call to the world: “Hear our voices as children, and let action be our collective anthem.” The children are leading the charge for change, armed with courage, compassion, and an unwavering belief in the possibility of a better tomorrow.