CONCERN ABOUT THE RISE IN CASES OF CHILD ABDUCTION WITHIN KENYA

Cases of abduction are worrisome and a threat to national security. The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, on July 5 2021, said  due to increasing cases of abduction the government will not only step up, but it will deploy a special and aggressive  squad with resources to deal with children abduction issues.

While there is no centralized database by the police on the number of children who are kidnapped daily, Missing Child Kenya, a portal that keeps track of children who are missing, indicates that in April 2021, 28 cases were recorded by a non-governmental agency . The portal adds a missing case once a complainant has obtained an OB number from the police. Of the 28, the agency notes that 14 are still missing.

Details on the abduction and killing of eight year old Shantel Nzembi emerged, indicating the girl was taken by a light skinned woman as she played with other children outside her parents’ home in Kitengela on Saturday afternoon May 29, 2021. Shantel’s body was found on a feeder road in Kitengela on Monday morning May 31, 2021.

 Franklin Gicheru, a three year-old boy went missing on June 22, 2021 in Zimmerman Estate, Nairobi. Mr. Gicheru, father to Franklin, immediately launched a frantic search for his son starting in the neighborhood. All the while, he hoped his son was not going to be part of the statistics of missing children .He reported to the area chief and later went to Kasarani police station to report the disappearance where the incident was booked under OB 06/22/06/2021.

Franklin’s disappearance is not an isolated case. Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, is witnessing a sudden surge in cases of kidnapping and murder of innocent children. Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) works to protect children against cruelties which include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and negligent treatment, and exploitation. The rising cases of kidnapping and murder of young children is a trend which AfCiC highly condemns and believes that cooperation between the relevant government bodies, humanitarian organizations (e.g. AfCiC), the private sector and the general public will address this grave concern.  

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