Africa Expert Consultation on Violence against Children

The Africa Child Policy Forum, Better Care Network and other partners came together to find local solutions to end violence against children in all care settings.

The two day Expert consultations, held in Kenya on 21-22 July builds on global and regional progress and commitments surrounding the elimination of violence against children and the establishment of appropriate care for children, in alignment with international standards. The experts came from over 10 countries and included government representatives, UN bodies, sub-regional economic blocks, international organizations, regional organizations and the media.

Inclusion Africa contributed to the consultation by highlighting the following issues:

1.High prevalence rates of violence against children with intellectual disabilities, who are 4 to 10 times more prone to violence than their peers without disabilities

  1. Need to support families in their caring roles
  2. Work done by Inclusion Africa members including promoting self advocacy, training families, health care workers and the criminal justice system including police and prosecutors on understanding intellectual disability
  3. Need for coming up with concrete steps in ensuring children with disabilities are not left behind in regional initiatives of ending violence against children.

Kenya’s Director of Children Services ,Mr. Noah Sanganyi opened the forum and affirmed Kenya’s government commitment to end violence against children. The keynote address was given by Prof. Benyam Mezmur the immediate former chair of the UNCRC Committee and the current Chair of the Committee of Experts of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In his speech Prof. Benyam said for a long time care settings have been seen as a place of refuge for vulnerable children but research has shown that institutionalization has a negative impact on children. He challenged participants to come up with solutions to end all forms of violence in care settings.