THIKA, Kenya, Nov 24 – With the new Children’s Act 2022 now in place, the Judiciary in Thika has scaled up efforts to sensitize young people on their rights in efforts to build a child-friendly judicial system.
Thika Chief Magistrate Stella Atambo led a team of magistrates, prosecutors, probation officers, advocates, correctional service providers and other court users to Thika High school where they interacted with the students and later planted over 200 tree seedlings.
Atambo said the move aimed at making the students informed on the judicial system to enable them to claim their rights through legal and other services provided for in the new law.
Among the areas the students were taken through are on child care and protection, parental responsibility, family based alternative care and other children rights.
Atambo said they would follow the law to ensure children rights are protected, warning children abusers that the new law, with stiffer penalties, spells doom for them.
She warned that the court would not be smiling while handling child abuse cases adding that children cases would be given first priority and that they would be determined within six months.
The magistrate at the same time said from the many cases that they have heard and determined that involved children, the abusers were mostly caregivers, their relatives or those close to them.
“The new Act provides stiffer penalties for those who abuse children which is a big achievement in the protection of children rights. As a court, we shall even be stricter when handling such cases and we shall give them priority in hearing and determination,” said Atambo.
Thika High School Principal Julius Muraya said the interactive sensitization by the legal agencies team would make the children open up more and expose more on the abuses that they got from their homes as well as in schools.