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Launch of the Child Justice and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Strategies

26 June 2023 The Child Justice and Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) Strategies, Convicted Sexual Offenders Electronic Register and established specialised SGBV Courts at Kibera and Makadara Law Courts were officially launched by Hon. Justice Martha Koome, President of the Supreme Court. 

Hon. Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, Deputy Chief Justice/Vice President of the Supreme Court, Hon. Lady Justice Agnes Murgor, Judge of Appeal and President, International Association of Women Judges – Kenya Chapter, Hon. Paul N. Maina, Deputy Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Ms. Charity Kagwi, Head, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Pillar, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office of Eastern Africa, among other dignitaries were also present.

The strategies launched are closely aligned with the key areas outlined in the Social Transformation Access through Justice (STAJ) initiative, specifically emphasizing the provision of justice for marginalized and vulnerable individuals. These initiatives align with the Judiciary's strategic focus on transforming the justice system into one that prioritizes the needs and well-being of the people. 

By upholding the dignity and rights of all Kenyans, particularly victims of sexual and gender-based violence, child abuse, and exploitation, these strategies aim to create a more inclusive justice system. 

The strategies were developed with the support of the UNODC through Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery (PLEAD) partnership – an EU Funded Project.  The collaborative efforts of the justice sector institutions paved the way for a new era—where every child can reach their fullest potential.

Given that 60 percent of Africa's population is under the age of 25, children and youth become a specific target and are exceptionally vulnerable. Recognizing their vulnerability, it is crucial to establish special safeguards to ensure their protection.

‘The initiatives are in line with the strategic focus of the Judiciary to transform the justice system into a people-centred one that upholds the dignity and rights of all Kenyans, especially victims of SGBV, child abuse and exploitation. We are in effect sending a clear message that our society will not tolerate those who prey upon the vulnerable. We will hold them accountable, and their actions shall not go unnoticed or unpunished,’ said Hon. Martha Koome. 

Through the PLEAD partnership, and in collaboration between the Government of Kenya and other development partners, the interventions outlined in the SGBV Strategy, such as the implementation of specialized courts, present a valuable opportunity to prioritize support for victim-centered approaches. This collaborative effort offers a favorable environment for focusing on approaches that place victims at the center, ensuring their needs and well-being are given utmost importance.

‘We are proud to support and witness the development and launch of these real and practical sector-wide strategies that the justice sector can adopt as best practices within the region,’ Ms. Charity Kagwi.

The SGBV strategy acts as a beacon of hope for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. UNODC commits to prioritize the needs of survivors and victims, ensuring that their well-being is at the forefront of judicial responses. 

The justice sector institutions vowed to implement these strategies with unwavering dedication and support.They recognized that it was not only their responsibility but also their privilege to safeguard the rights of children within the justice system.

The launch of the Child Justice and SBGV Strategies marked the beginning of a journey—a pathway towards a more just and compassionate society, where the rights and well-being of children were at the forefront of every decision and action. 


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