Child abuse cases in Magarini Sub County of Kilifi County continue to increase despite measures taken by various stakeholders to tame the vice.
Poverty, early marriages, child labor and marriage break ups are some of the factors that have been identified as the main cause of violation of children rights in the area.
The International Committee for Development of Peoples (CISP) Regional Protection manager Ms Magdalene Muoki said the situation demands that local community members to look into ways of solving the problem and protect the child.
Ms Muoki said in June this year, five community groups comprising of 20 members each from Mjanaheri, Mambrui, Gongoni, Garashi and Magarini villages initiated a community led dialogue approach that identified the problems and came up with solutions.
She was speaking at the closing ceremony of a one week workshop at Mjanaheri social hall in Gongoni at the weekend.
She said: “We discovered that Mjanaheri and Mambrui villages lead in cases of child abuse especially early marriages and child labour in sand harvesting sites and salt firms due to poverty”.
Ms Muoki said that the initiative was working towards ending child abuse in Magarini Sub County. “We believe in community led action because the community knows the problems facing them and will eventually come up with better solutions to their own problems,” she added.
Speaking at the same function, Magarini location Chief Mr Katana Shilingi said steps were being taken to eradicate the vices adding stern measures would be taken against salt firms and Sand harvesting sites employing children.
“We already have two cases in court where parents have been charged with negligence towards children,” he warned.
Mr Katana said that the high break up rate of marriages also contributed to child labour as children are left with no one to take care of them and are forced to work so that they can fend for themselves.
He added that two to three cases of child abuse were reported in his office every week but many others go unreported.