Cases of children missing never to be found and quite a number being murdered in Kenya have been on the rise recently.
According to Data by Missing Child Kenya, 69 cases of missing children were reported between March and May 2021, 33 were found and reunited with their families but 36 are still missing.
Social Media has been awash with posters of missing children while mainstream media has been filled with reports of found bodies of missing children with the latest cases being that of eight-year-old Shantel Nzambi , who was kidnapped only for her body to be found stuffed in a sack and dumped beside a busy road in Kitengela.
It is believed the child was defiled before she was murdered.
Last month, 8-year-old Michelle Jennifer from Kayole reported to school in Soweto, but did not return home that evening, only for her body to be discovered at a morgue in Mama Lucy Hospital.
The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have contributed a lot to the increased violence against children.
The 2010 Constitution of Kenya (Article 53) recognizes the right of all children to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhumane treatment, and hazardous/exploitative labor.
Child trafficking is also a huge contributor to children’s disappearance. The 2019 Global report Trafficking in persons report released in June by the US Department of State, profiles Kenya as a tier 2 source, transit, and destination for people subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.
An 18-year-old from Utawala made a narrow escape from kidnappers He was kidnaped on his way from college in Mitaboni, Machakos.
The boy was abducted, sedated and pushed into a black range rover, whose occupants had stopped to ask him for directions. He regained consciousness 7 hours later around Namanga. He realized he had been moved to a different car, a Nissan without seats at the back and he was also in the company of other children who had been blindfolded; two girls and some young children.
According to a report by Missing Child Kenya, at least 242 children were reported missing between January and December last year. Out of these, 131 were reunited with their families, 10 found dead while 85 are still missing.
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, Commemorating children killed protesting in Soweto in 1976. The theme for this year is : “30 years after the adoption of the charter: Accelerate Implementation of Agenda 2040 for An ‘Africa Fit for Children’,”