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Child protection stakeholders in Meru County have decried rampant child employment by financially able people.
The concerns emerged at a child protection forum at Meru where stakeholders from the public and private sector had met to deliberate on an effective way forwards towards sensitizing parents and guardians against giving out their children for employment in big towns.
The stakeholders noted that this time of the year was the most convenient for those seeking to lure less endowed parents and guardians into having their standard eight graduates for employment into their homes.
The situation was viewed as being very unfortunate since those minors employed to carry out domestic chores were likely to suffer from severe psychological problems due to having to watch their age mates in the house go to school while they remain at home.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, a children’s officer in one of the districts in the county, Mr. Paul Ndung’u said the responsibility of ensuring children enjoyed their rights was a collective responsibility and should not be left in the hands of government children’s officers.
The children’s officer also cautioned parents and guardians against compromising the development of their children by subjecting them to immature employment where many of them were subjected to chores beyond their physical and mental age translating into low self esteem as a result of always being reprimanded by their employers for not performing their duties as expected.
Mr. Ndung’u reiterated that children officers in the county had drawn a program to ensure that chiefs and their assistant were directly held responsible for any form of child abuse case in their areas of jurisdiction.
He observed that most of the child abuse and neglect cases were reported from the rural areas far from the district headquarters where most of the children’s officers were making it very difficult for the office to know and ensure the appropriate action was taken in favor of the child.
‘It is very unfortunate that many child abuse and neglect cases go unreported as a result of collusion between the perpetrators and the culprits at the expense of the vulnerable child,’Mr. Ndung’u stated.
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