The Star (Nairobi)

31 January 2013

Kenya: Council Fights for Children's Right During Poll Campaigns

National Council for Children Services (NCCS) asks the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to punish candidates and parties using children in their campaigns.

The council leader Hellen Waweru said they are aware some candidates do use children in entertainments in their political rallies. She further said some candidates come up with various sports tournaments involving children.

with plans of making the events as campaigns tools to enable them attract votes. Speaking during a meeting with the media from Embu County and several other stakeholders in the children's welfare Waweru implored on the need to protect children during the campaigns.

Waweru said children's rights which are enshrined in the constitution have to be protected from abuse by unscrupulous politicians who could be out to exploit their innocence to campaign for them.

Waweru who was also accompanied by the director of Children services Ahmed Hussein asked the IEBC to use its personnel to monitor the and punish any candidate caught using children during their campaigns.

" Children should not be polarized through party affiliations.They should be left as independent as possible," said Waweru. She said children are vulnerable and thus when involved in such activities will be psychologically and even at times physically affected if violence erupts.

Waweru said political meetings should be carried out in other public venues like stadiums to avoid disrupting children's studies which have already been disrupted following nominations and the forthcoming elections.The council recommended in future political parties ought to sign a code of conduct to protect children during campaigns.

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