The Kenyan government has been urged to intervene and save children's education threatened by sexual exploitation and child labor in the Taita-Taveta region.
As the world prepares to mark 16 days of activism against gender violence from November 25 to December 10, on the theme: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World; Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women, sexual exploitation of young girls continues to be reported in Taita-Taveta County with worrying frequency.
According to Reject a bi-monthly local newspaper, provincial labor and child’s officers have raised concern over the high number of girls and boys engaging in prostitution as well as child labor at the expense of going to school.
According to the local education officials, sexual exploitation cases in both primary and secondary schools involve defilement, early marriages, pregnancy, sodomy and incest.
The members of the Taita District Education Board (DEB), Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu, District Education Officer Samuel Nyantika and the KNUT Executive Secretary Rosalia Mkanjala blamed some scrupulous provincial administration officials and some parents for perpetuating child abuse.
District Education Officer Samuel Nyantika accused some chiefs and parents of dragging their feet on the issue adding that those who were involved in abusing the rights of children included teachers, civilians and fellow students.
“Some chiefs demand facilitation fee from parents and schools in order to arrest the suspects while other cases are determined in kangaroo courts hence denying justice to the victim,” Nyantika said.
Reports show that primary and secondary school girls bore the brunt of sexual exploitation in the area. This year over 40 girls under the age of 17 in Taita-Taveta were sexually abused, a report from the education office indicates.