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Enhancing Child Participation

Over two days, 25 and 26 May 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the National Council for Children’s Services and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection convened in Nairobi Kenya for the second workshop on promoting child participation in development frameworks in Africa and strengthening the African base of the Global Child Leading Team.

This workshop follows the first workshop that was held in Lilongwe Malawi. The primary focus of the workshop was to raise awareness of the essential role of child participation in national, regional, and global development processes in Africa. Furthermore, it was aimed at promoting collaboration among state agencies and departments and Civil Society Organisations working on child participation initiatives in Kenya.

The first day of the workshop brought children from various sub-counties in Nairobi and varied stakeholders from several government ministries in an effort for the children’s representatives to express their concerns and to be informed of key government services and avenues established by the State of Kenya for children’s involvement in implementing government strategies on several thematics linked to development agendas.

The second day of the workshop sought to spotlight the role ofCivil Society Organisations in Promoting Child Participation in development agendas in Kenya. It brought together participants from about 30, forefront of children’s rights organisations in Nairobi.  The Organisations unpacked child participation within their respective programmes and emphasised the importance of the effective participation of children. Members ofCivil Society Organisations also stressed that government must be mindful of its role when dealing with children's rights issues and budgeting for children and not treat it as a box-ticking exercise.

The workshop closed with final remarks from Abdinoor Mohamed, CEO of the National Council for Children’s Services and Dr Elvis Fokala, who commended the participants for their valuable contributions and encouraged them to continue advocating for child participation initiatives in their respective fields and that proper implementation of the existing laws are able to solve the many challenges that children face in Kenya.

Dr Elvis Fokala, Manager: Children's Rights Unit