• April 16, 2024
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Narok Children stakeholders’ confidence in AJS

Narok Children stakeholders’ confidence in AJS

Narok,

Monday March 18, 2024

KNA by Ann Salaton

Children stakeholders in Narok County have expressed confidence that the Alternative Justice System (AJS) will help resolve the backlog of children cases that are reported almost every day.

The County Children Director Pilot Khaemba said out of 1733 cases of children reported last year, 1260 were child neglect cases, which can be resolved better through AJS than going through the formal court system.

He said the cases will be referred to AJS because their nature is not criminal but social-cultural motivated, saying the interest of his office is to ensure the rights of the child are catered for.

“In AJS, discussions are done outside the court but results brought to court. The case is handled by a children’s officer who is recognized by the judiciary, and a panelist that ensures the child gets justice,” he said.

Nevertheless, the children’s officer said cases like defilement, early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child labour that expose the children to body harm will not be referred to the AJS as they are grievous and harmful to the child.

He called on immediate investigation and prosecution of these criminal cases so as to avoid corrupting evidence in court of law.

“Children are easily compromised to give contradicting information if their cases are prolonged. We recommend that children matters be resolved within two weeks, so as to give justice to the minors,” he reiterated.

The Narok head of Office of Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Gitonga Murang’a said his office will collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure AJS was successfully implemented in the county.

“We will be looking at the nature of the case and witnesses before referring it to AJS. Children matters that can be resolved outside the court will be referred to the Children’s office so that they can take the necessary action,” he said.

He reminded that AJS should be done within the constitution framework hence the panelists should be well trained on what they are expected to do when handling the cases.

They spoke during a Children Advisory Committee meeting attended by Narok County Commissioner Kipkoech Lotiatia and County Executive Member in charge of Education Robert Simwoto and sponsored by We- World organization.

Courtesy; KNA

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