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Alarm over rising child labour, neglect

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 06:20 | By
PG 8-Cosmas Karera the children welfare officer in charge of Kajiado County addressing the media during Child abuse and Child labor sensitization forum held in Kajiado. PHOTO /Christine Musa

Children’s department and medical practitioners have raised concerns over the high rates of child labour and abuse in Kajiado.

According to Cosmas Karera, county officer in charge of Children’s Welfare, in February alone, at least 219 cases of child abuse were recorded, with 40 involving child labour.

Speaking during a Child Labour Advocacy forum held in Kajiado town yesterday, Karera said the main challenge remains tracing the affected children.

“There is an emerging trend of child abuse in the form of child labour. We have girls and boys as young as 12 years working to fend for their families due to abject poverty which resulted from livestock loss during the recent prolonged drought,” he said.

Karera warns that despite challenges caused by poverty, it is illegal to employ underage children and those found guilty will face the law to serve as an example to others.

Under age girls are said to be employed as househelps in satellite towns while their male counterparts are turned to herdsboys, sand harvesters and boda boda riders.

Karen Kamau, a medic in charge of Children Welfare and Gender Based Violence says child labour has had serious medical implications on survivors. She says boys are mainly diagnosed with respiratory and chest complications with girls falling prey to preying males who impregnate them at a tender age and end up getting complications during birth.

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