Most people might have heard about the recent case relating to the youthful school boys and girls who were caught by the police pursuing some exploits that were clearly out of line. This entailed their hijinks which possibly had been going on for several terms or for extended duration until they were finally caught trying to further this caper.
The school going children are just so credulous and unquestioning with a natural inclination to follow whatever is perceived as cool in the society. They are therefore easily swayed to engage in whatever their peers are doing devoid of any pensive thinking about the consequences emanating from their actions. These proclivities might become a norm or usual habit if they are not detected early and inhibited. However, what matters most is what we do as the society and what the government does upon the detection of such instances where our young and green children do engage in such acts.
It is vital that we ensure that the privacy of these children is protected while we are dealing with such cases. Article 28 of our Constitution provides for the right to human dignity where every person has an inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected. Article 31 further provides for the right to privacy where every person has the right to privacy which includes the right not to have-:
a) Their person, home or property searched;
b) Their possessions seized
c) Information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or
d) The privacy of their communications infringed.
These rights are also applicable to the children. It is vital that we protect their privacy thus ensuring that we guide them appropriately without exposing them to the media and the general public since the impact of such on the ingenuous children could be calamitous especially pertaining to their psychological health thus severely impacting them and rendering the whole process of rehabilitation self-defeating.
The police officer in charge in this instance found it necessary to post pictures of the children online for reasons only known to him. This led to scathing attacks from various factions who perceived that as a massive violation or infringement of the right to privacy. I concur with them as we have all previously made mistakes and the best way to bring the problems to a better resolve was not through getting publicly shunned by our peers and the society in general after publication of our acts or omissions on social media.
What about we go back to embracing the ancient cult of political and judicial correctness where the right procedures are employed dealing with such matters especially those touching on our young children. Otherwise, all the vituperative oral exchanges and public sharing of the children’s mistakes while infringing on their privacy does not aid anybody. Some might be deemed as jocular chatter but ultimately, it will not be for the benefit of these children hence instead of chastising them, we can alternatively join hands and collectively aid them reform.
I hope we will see people revolving around all the arms of government who don’t behave like puppets or robotic mice. This is because we live in a very delicate era where the public especially on social media are primarily focused on torching every slight slip of the tongue or any omission of that sort.
The impact is often detrimental elevating to such ludicrous levels that even an apology to the affected children doesn’t seem to be enough.
I presume that all the children were falling on their swords as the inevitable furore erupted and instead of further castigation, what about we cut this children some slack and give them a second chance to ensure that they can bounce back and learn from their mistakes instead of making a lot of unnecessary noise from this either intended or inadvertent acts. If we can try and have an eclectic view of things, we can realize that the children will be more vicious and revenge with the same intensity and gusto that we are sticking it out to them if the matter is not handled as required.
It is under this “new” Constitution that Kenya must reach its Zenith of influence as one of the bulwarks of democracy, and this will not be attained if these supposedly “minor” human rights violations are not brought to a halt. It is only through the observance of human rights especially those touching on our children that our country will be perceived as the quintessence or paragon of democracy. This is because the children are the most vulnerable hence it is the duty of the government and ours as citizens to follow the constitution and other human rights instruments which contain the pith of all of our rights and accompanying duties and responsibilities.
This sort of cruxes can only be resolved if we do not fight one wrong with another.
Let us protect our children!