Nairobi is the county with the highest number of reported cases of all forms of child abuse, a new report has shown.
More than 33,929 cases of child abuse have been reported in the last 10 years, Child Protection Report (2006-2016) shows. Of these, 13,878 were of child abandonment and neglect, 528 of child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping and 3,123 of child labour. Another 1,025 cases were of emotional abuse, 7,317 of physical abuse and 7,832 of sexual abuse.
The report, which the non-governmental organisation Childline Kenya released on Tuesday, had Nairobi leading with reported cases of all forms of child abuse while semi-arid regions reported the least incidents.
Other counties with high numbers of child abuse cases were Kakamega, Kiambu and Nakuru while the least cases were reported in Marsabit, Samburu, Lamu and Wajir.
Childline Kenya executive director George Kidenda said fathers led in sexual abuse of girls, followed by uncles.
“Age group 6-10 years seems to have been at the highest risk of being abused, followed by 11-15-year-olds,” he said.
The high number of reported cases in the capital city has, however, been attributed to there being more awareness.
“However, in other remote counties where abuse may be more rampant, cases go unreported and only occasionally surface in form of news reports after a major incident,” said Dr Kidenda. The report singled out child neglect and abandonment as the root cause of other forms of abuse in Kenya. Dr Kidenda cited child neglect as very dangerous as it exposes the minor to other forms of abuse.
“The most reported forms of child neglect are in the form of prohibition from school, lack of medical attention and denial of food,” said Dr Kidenda. “As a result of these, a child is left open to other forms of abuse.”
The report analysed cases reported from 2006 to 2016. It revealed that girls and boys are equally likely to be abused and therefore need equal attention and protection.
Some 75 per cent of child neglect cases were perpetrated by immediate family members, followed by parents and extended family at 17 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
And, while many of the cases occurred outside the home, people well known by the child – including relatives – were the main perpetrators.