Cradle children foundation under sponsorship of Terre des Homes has launched a very important project in Kwale County with aim of addressing the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The foundations’ Chief executive officer Milly Lwanga said that most cases of children abused for commercially sexually reasons in the area have been rampant. According to various research conducted shows in the area shows the situation is worse and it need urgent intervention.
“Various government organs like kwale children department and probation working in the area confirmed the issue then Cradle decided to chip in to provide legal assistant, rescue services and rehabilitation of children engaged in commercial sex work. We are targeting children who are victim and those in risk of being affected by the problem of sexual exploitation.By 2015 we want to reach a total number of about 2000 children through clubs in schools where we will sensitize them on how to address the vice and counter it because the risk is eminent and they face it every day,” said Lwanga.
Addressing stakeholders at Kaskazi hotel in Kwale County on Monday during the official launch of the project, Lwanga said that they will be training various government officers dealing with children among them police teachers and children officers and they will advise them on the existence of the laws like sexual offence act and counter traffic and persons act so that they can implement and fully use them.
“We felt it is important to train the officers because there are no cases taken to court of counter traffic and person yet a lot if trafficking of children is happening especially children from other regions being brought down here for commercial sex purposes,” she added.
” We will will also target sensitizing parents on the need to fight the vice. The little gain parents think they get by exploiting their children to commercial sex is negligible comparing to damage being caused to the child because they are our future support let them partner with us to address the issue ” she said..
Her sentiments were echoed by Terre des Hommes country director Angela Nyamu who said they have 31similar projects spread across 6 counties across the country including Kwale. ” We are operating in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya in addressing sexual commercial exploitation of children, child trafficking and strengthening protection systems ”
The CRADLE was founded primarily by a group of Christian Lawyers to respond to the need for provision of juvenile justice following a research and baseline survey in 1997 on the provision of justice to children in Kenya. The research showed the absence of institutional mechanisms to respond to this issue. The CRADLE was born to respond to this need.
The CRADLE was officially launched on 7th December 1998, on the eve of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showing a deliberate choice of a rights -based approach in its work. The launch was held at the United States Information Service by Judge Arline Pacht, the then Chairperson of the International Women Judges Association. The launch was also presided over by Honourable Shem Ochuodho, then Member of Parliament, Rangwe Constituency. The CRADLE institutionalized in 1999 by setting up a pilot and the first legal aid clinic of its kind for children. The CRADLE was originally legally housed by the Women’s Resource Centre and physically by the Coalition on Violence Against Women. It was later registered as a trust and has since operated independently. The CRADLE continues protecting and promoting the rights of the child to date and the programs it runs have expanded significantly.
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