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Title: Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
Authors: Ayaya Samuel Olwambula
Keywords: Children, Difficult Circumstances, protecting their rights
Issue Date: 3-Mar-2014
Publisher: Moi University
Abstract: Children living under especially difficult circumstances is a UNICEF concept that refers to children whose families cannot provide them with adequate care, safety and protection. The concept includes children who are: living in situations of war and conflict; living on the streets; orphaned, vulnerable and separated; abandoned; institutionalized; discriminated against; HIV infected and affected; physically, sexually, nutritionally, emotionally abused; exploited and neglected. There are about 1.2 billion children in especially difficult circumstances; 100 million street children globally, 250,000 street children in Kenya with 2,000 in Eldoret and 60,000 in Nairobi; there are 16 million HIV/AIDS orphans in the world and 14.8 million of these are in Africa and 1 million in Kenya; there are 215 million child labourers globally with 150 million in the developing world. There are no estimates of the number of abused children in the world because of lack of consensus on the definitions. In 2007 there were 1,133 people killed and 650,000 displaced in post election violence in Kenya. The world responded to the situation by signing convention 182 on children’s rights, 138 on child labor and Children’s Act 2001 of Kenya to protect child rights. The response to HIV/AIDS resulted in the establishment of the UNAIDS, NASCOP, NACC and AMPATH with a lot of success. In conclusion, the prevalence of children in especially difficult circumstances is high with the bulk of them in sub-Saharan Africa. There is no consensus on the definition of child abuse and research on the subject is inadequate. Children are still not getting their rights. It is recommended that consensus be reached on the definition of child abuse and more research be conducted. The laws on child rights should be enforced and the subject taught in mid-level and tertiary academic institutions. Children should be taught about their rights and how to avoid getting abused.
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