Childline Kenya works in partnership with the Government to stop child abuse and provide a safe environment for all children. They offer the only nationwide helpline service dedicated to children that runs 24 hours toll free, and is accessible by simply dialing 116. The helpline provides counselling, rescue, safe shelter, medical care and legal support. Childline Kenya also actively educates the public on child safety, working with key government agencies and child protection partners in all the 47 counties.
116 is a children’s emergency toll free number available 24 hours. It is free on all mobile networks (Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Equitel). It is also available on Chat at www.childlinekenya.co.ke, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Facebook (Child Helpline 116). Calls at the helpline are received by a team of highly qualified counselors who respond to client issues and document them.
Childline Kenya released the Child Protection Report – The State of Child Abuse in Kenya on Tuesday, March 28th 2017 at Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi. The State of Child Abuse in Kenya report released the statistics of child abuse in Kenya reported in the last 10 years, highlighting new forms of abuse. The report also highlighted which counties are leading in reported cased of child abuse since 2014 and an update on the impact of the 116 child abuse helpline over the last 10 years.
Child Neglect and Abandonment has consistently been the highest reported form of abuse since 2006. Apart from being a criminal offence in itself, it also exposes the child to all other forms of abuse. Childline Kenya has therefore designed parenting programs in various counties to empower parents with skills to keep their children safe and thus reduce their vulnerability to abuse. The implementation of the parenting program has contributed to the reduction of the child neglect cases from 2014.Some of the highest reported forms of child neglect include parents not taking their children to school; refusing to get them medical attention when they are not well; and denying them food for days as a form of punishment. The prevalence of child neglect is a gateway to other cases of abuse such as sexual and physical abuse. From the data, every time child neglect cases went up, other abuse cases such as sexual and physical abuse also increased.
The least reported forms of abuse were Female Genital Mutilation, Child Trafficking, abduction and kidnapping. This does not necessarily mean that these abuses do not take place. It is likely that the children involved are not aware that there is opportunity for them through the helpline to be rescued from their situation hence the need to sensitize all children on the existence of the Child Helpline service and empower them to make use of it.
The national child helpline service is Childline Kenya’s flagship program. Children and young people from all-over the country contact the child helpline to express their fears, worries, thoughts and concerns. The helpline is easy to access, safe, secure, trustworthy and free of charge.
The report examines each main data category in detail, providing an overview of the volume of calls within this category in terms of age and gender of the children involved and their location by County. It also provides the main trends and issues, perpetrator analysis and a case study for each of the child abuse case categories. An online link to the full report can be found here http://www.childlinekenya.co.ke/assets/files/Child-Protection-Report-2006-2016.pdf
The event ended on a high and hopeful note with the launch of the Shine a Light campaign (#ShineALightKE). Childline Kenya has partnered with the Yetu Initiative, a project of the Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with USAID, to launch a campaign dubbed “Shine a Light … because abuse isn’t obvious”. It is a call to arms for Kenyans to rally together to fight child abuse and to be a ray of hope to those in need.
Childline Kenya aims at:
- Invoking the social consciousness of Kenyans and drive conversation about child protection and how each individual can help an abused child and how they can shine a light to expose child abuse
- Create awareness of Childline Kenya & the services they provide in support of children in need. Childline Kenya would like Kenyans to understand child abuse and how to get help through the 116 Helpline, if such happens
- Invite the Kenyan public to help Childline Kenya “Shine A Light” on child abuse by donating to support the Child Helpline services