CS Chelugui Attributes Spiraling Number Of Street Families To Domestic Violence

CS Chelugui made the remarks at his office during a ceremony to receive Mary Wambui, the incoming chair of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund.

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 18, 2021 – Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has regretted the spiralling problem of street families and attributed it to domestic violence among couples driving children to the streets.

The CS was categorical that the menace of streets families was a challenge that requires concerted intervention by various players to resolve.

CS Chelugui made the remarks at his office during a ceremony to receive Mary Wambui, the incoming chair of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund. She is replacing Lina Jebii Kilimo who has been appointed Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.

In all the major urban areas in Kenya including Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Eldoret, there is a persistent problem of the rising number of street families. Despite several intervention measures such as admissions to care homes, curbing the problem has proved a tall order with more children pouring out on the streets.

In all the major urban areas in Kenya including Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Eldoret, there is a persistent problem of rising number of street families.

A recent study blames this trend on the children’s fear of being reprimanded for mistakes at home and subjected to corporal punishment. Data from the 2020 National Census of Street Families points out violence in domestic settings as the greatest contributor to the rising number of street families.

The report shows that some 92 per cent of the males interviewed preferred to remain on the streets than go back home for the fear of being reprimanded as 86 per cent also cited fear of corporal punishment. About 50 per cent of the females cited domestic violence as the main reason they went to the streets.

Male and female street children also cited mistreatment by relatives, in cases where the parents are dead or no longer living with them, at 81 and 36 per cent respectively, as the other reason for going to the streets.

In the past decade, the number of street children has increased in many African countries due to deepening poverty. The situation described by William is not uncommon in big cities like Nairobi and elsewhere in the developing world.

As half of the total population of Kenya is under 18, the living conditions of street children is one of the greatest challenges facing the government.

CS Chelugui regretted that street children face endless cruelties. Their rights have been violated many times by the adults who were supposed to protect them. In many cases, these children are subject to sexual exploitation in return for food or clothes. Often, police detain and beat them without reason.

The United Nations has defined the term ‘street children’ to include “any boy or girl… for whom the street in the widest sense of the word … has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood, and who is inadequately protected, supervised, or directed by responsible adults.”

Street children are also divided into two groups: those who live IN the street (spend all their time in the street), and those who live ON the street (those who return home at night).

 

 

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