Children Agenda Forum (www.childrenagendaforum.org)
Children Agenda Forum is a platform that brings together child focused CSOs, it was established in ay, 2015 as a lobby group to drive the children’s agenda in the post 2015 development agenda. The Membership of the forum is made up of, Networks, Local NGOs, International Organizations and National Organizations Which are Child Focused organizations, not a government agency and legally registered with physical address.
Vision A nation where all children achieve their full potential The Mission To promote child sensitive decision making in governance and development To achieve this the forum has 3 main Objectives as follows:
- To facilitate child focused research to inform public policy and programming
- To undertake advocacy in the best interest of children
- To strengthen capacities of child focused organizations/institutions in advancing
Child focused organizations in Kenya
BIC Conference (www.childjusticesystem.net)
Inspired by this realization, partners working in the children sector led by Ministry of Labour and East Africa Affairs (through the National Council for Children Services and the Department for Children Services), UNICEF ESARO and Kenya office, Daystar University (Institute of Child Development) and African Institute for Children Studies (an NGO) are planning to host an international conference dubbed “Best interest for children in justice system”. The conference will be held at Daystar University, Nairobi , Valley road Campus, on Wed 17th, Thurs 18th and Fri 19th August, 2016 and is targeting 300 participants drawn from all over the world in governments, civil society organizations, universities and research institutions and UN bodies.
The aim of the conference is to share best practices in administration of juvenile justice and the policies and legislations that promote the best interest of children in both formal and informal justice system.
Children constitute 40% of the total world population, in Kenya it is 54%. While both formal and informal justice systems have existed for several centuries, the concept of making decisions that are child right based and in the best interest of the child, is relatively new. A report by UNICEF (2002), estimated that 85% of children in the justice system were exposed to the criminal procedures, which should not be the case. This exposure often has detrimental effects to their development which may affect their developmental outcome later on in life. With an increasing number of children-specific matters being processed through both formal and informal justice systems, the question is, are the decisions made in the best interest of the child?
In many parts of the world, progress has been made to ensure that the justice proceedings and the court environment are child friendly. There is also a lot of published works on the CRC and Best Interest of the child. However, in some countries, especially in Africa, even where ‘best interest’ is recognized in the various legislations, policies and procedures, it is not always the case. There is also little literature on the Best Interest of Children in the justice system especially for the African Child. There is need therefore to share emerging good practices and advocate for more efforts in the best interest of children in justice system
The conference is targeting 300 participants drawn from all over the world in governments, civil society organizations, universities and research institutions and UN bodies.
The keynote speakers are drawn from different parts of the world and are experts and practitioners in various disciplines and children service delivery sectors related to juvenile justice.They are: a. Justice Martha Koome, Judge of the Court of Appeal-Kenya b. Noah M.O. Sanganyi, Senior Assistant Director Children Services/Head, Alternative Family Care and Institutional Services-Kenya c. Dr. Judy Krysik, Director & Associate Professor at Centre for Child Welfare, Arizona State University-U .S .A d. Judge Eduardo Rezende Melo, Child Protection and Juvenile Issues and Former President of the Brazilian Association of Child Protection and Juvenile Judges-Brazil. e. Dr. Lisa Shamseldin, Director of the Children’s Rights New Zealand [ CRNZ] The conference so far has received financial commitment from the following organizations: 1. UNICEF- ESARO 2. UNICEF-Kenya 3. Plan International 4. African Institute for Children Studies 5. Daystar University 6. Terre des hommes Netherlands 7. FIDA Kenya 8. The CRADLE 9. ChildFund Kenya 10. Pendekezo letu 11. International Justice Mission 12. ICJ
1. Challenges to realization of best interest for children in justice system identified 2. Best practices in promoting best interest for children in justice system documented and shared 3. Enhanced networking among practitioners in justice system and children sector
National Council of Adminstration of Justice (NCAJ) Task Force on Children Matters
PURSUANT to the resolution of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) at its 15th meeting to have established a taskforce to address emerging challenges facing children in the justice sector; and in line with the provisions of the Constitution, sections 5 and 34 of the Judicial Service Act, and section 22 (3) of the Children Act, I, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, and Chairperson of the National Council on the Administration of Justice, appoint the NCAJ Taskforce on Children Matters with effect from 10th December, 2015.
The Taskforce terms of reference: 1. To review and report on the status of children in the administration of justice. 2. Examine the operative policy and legal regimes as well as the emerging case law to identify the challenges and make appropriate recommendations. 3. Assess, review, report and recommend on the service standards of each of the justice sector institutions with respect to children matters. 4. Prepare draft rules of procedure for enforcement of fundamental rights of children. 5. Conduct a situation analysis of the existing infrastructure and equipment in the criminal justice system in regard to children matters and develop guidelines for the monitoring, supervision and inspections for holding facilities. 6. Develop Guidelines for Child Protection Units and propose mechanisms for the establishment of Child Police Unit in the National Police Service. 7. Develop the Court Practice Directions on Children cases. 8. Develop the Diversion Regulations. 9. Develop a Policy on Mandatory Continuous Professional , Development program on child rights for justice and examine and review the training curricula on children. 10. Develop policies on re-integration of children accompanying imprisoned mothers. 11. Develop policies on separated cells for children (include guidelines/minimum standards of infrastructure of children facilities). 12. Development of the guidelines for children with special needs. 13. Develop guidelines for inclusion of children with special needs in the Juvenile Justice Actors procedure to be included in the Practice guidelines. 14. Develop a coordinated sensitization and awareness strategy. 15. Develop a form for presenting the P&C cases in court (to be included in the court practice directions). 16. Improve co-ordination of the Juvenile Justice Actors at the National and County level.
Lady Justice Martha Koome—Judiciary—(Chairperson) Stanley K. Cheruiyot—National Police Service—(Vice- Chairperson). Mary Inyuma Wang‘ele (Ms.)—Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. Carolyne Atieno (Ms.)—Department of Probation and Aftercare Services. Josephine Sinyo (Ms.)—Kenya Law Reform Commission. Dennis Kiio—Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Teresa Omondi-Adeitan (Ms.)—Federation of Women Lawyers, Kenya. Anthony Mwicigi—Judiciary. Lucy Gitari—Judiciary. Edna Nyaloti Ameyo (Ms.)—Witness Protection Agency. Grace Ndirangu (Ms.)—Directorate of Criminal Investigation. Veronica Wambui Mwangi (Ms.)—Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Marysheila Onyango-Oduor (Ms.)—Law Society of Kenya. Florence Kerubo Omundi (Ms.)—Prisons Department. Ruth Juliet N. Gachanja (Ms.)—The Cradle. Duncan Okello—NCAJ. African Institute for Child Studies is a member of the National Council for the Administration of Justice on behalf of the children agenda forum. The special task force was gazette in January, 2016 to ensure prioritization of children matters in the Judicial arm of the government.