In line with its mandate, the Commission is conducting a public inquiry into child pregnancy in Kenya.. The objectives of the inquiry are;
- To explore implementation gaps in national laws and policies alongside international and regional treaties on promotion of reproductive health rights of children and eliminating sexual violence
- To inquire into financial allocation for children/youth sexual health and reproductive rights at the national and county levels and its impact on child pregnancy.
- To assess the emerging drivers of child pregnancies and sexual violence
- To document firsthand information/stories from children survivors of sexual violence including those forced to undergo unsafe abortion
- To examine the opportunities the criminal justice system has in mitigating sexual violence.
The NGEC hopes to conduct the public inquiry in at minimum three counties. In June 2014, the commission mounted a call through national newsprint, its website and social media asking individuals and agencies to share views, opinions, data and experiences to help understand child pregnancies in Kenya. Many agencies and individuals expressed interests to be part of this inquiry and shared data, information and stories that have so far contributed significantly to the subject. If any organization or individual is interested in getting involved in this inquiry kindly contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The inquiry was launched in Nairobi on 9th May 2014, in a breakfast meeting held in Serena Hotel. The panelists consisting of lawyers, researchers, an ethnographer and psychiatrist have so far visited Samburu and Busia County. The preliminary findings are pointing to low awareness and utilization of the PRC forms. In some health facilities, PRC forms are present but rarely filled despite clinicians treating one or more cases of defilement, rape and other forms of sexual abuses almost every day. Some senior law enforcement staff seemed not aware of the existence of PRC Forms and whether PRC forms are admissible in court. As expected most staff involved in response and management of sexual violence continues to demand and rely on P3 form despite its numerous limitations in collecting and documenting crucial traces of evidence.
The commission is appealing to the national machinery and implementing partners to make deliberate efforts to sensitize citizens and key stakeholders involved in the response and management of SGBV to promote the use of PRC forms.
The inquiry also documented success stories in the mitigation of SGBV. The police, medical practitioners, community, judiciary and DPP have collectively worked together to sustain severe conditions as per the law on perpetrators found guilty of knowingly infecting children with HIV or defiling minors. While such efforts need to be sustained, the prevalence of incest among children particularly (10-17yrs) and cases of defilement of children by their own parents and close relatives is worrying. The inquiry team documented cases of ‘child couples’, as well as defiled girls who though living with trauma agree to be married off to perpetrator as 2nd or 3rd wives.
Keep tuned for more preliminary findings. Your feedback and thoughts on this subject is highly appreciated.
Last edited 12 September 2014