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NCJ Number: 166806 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Injustice: Police Abuse and Detention of Street Children in Kenya -- Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project
Corporate Author: Human Rights Watch
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 162
Sponsoring Agency: Human Rights Watch
New York, NY 10118-3299
Publication Number: ISBN 1-56432-214-9
Sale Source: Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue
34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because an estimated 40,000 street children in Kenya face many hardships and dangers in their daily lives, Human Rights Watch undertook a project in 1996 in which more than 60 children in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa were interviewed.
Abstract: Most interviews with children were conducted on the streets or in shelters for street children. In some cases, interviews were conducted in correctional or remand institutions where children were confined. Additionally, interviews were conducted with members of nongovernmental organizations and human rights activists who worked with street children in Kenya. The project found that several socioeconomic factors fueled the rising presence of street children, including but not limited to rapid urbanization, the breakdown of traditional family support structures, female single-parent households, inability of parents to pay for public education, and displacement of large numbers of people in urban slum clearance operations. Some street children had parents or family members in nearby slum areas or in faraway villages with whom they maintained some contact. Others were abandoned or orphaned, while some left their families and homes of their own accord. Kenyan law enforcement officials demonstrated brutal attitudes toward street children and exploited them with impunity. Children reported they were often harassed and beaten by police officers, and street girls reported being sexually propositioned. Police roundups were conducted with brute force and with little regard for children's welfare. Despite the requirement that children's cases be heard in special juvenile courts, such cases were often tried in regular courts along with adult cases where children did not have special protections afforded juveniles under Kenyan law. Pending final adjudication and case disposition, street children were committed by courts to temporary detention in remand institutions where conditions were overcrowded and unsanitary. From remand, some children were finally committed by courts to approved schools. The treatment of street children by Kenyan police officers, procedures used to confine children to correctional institutions, and conditions in these institutions are detailed. The project concludes the Kenyan government is not adequately addressing the social and economic hardships that lead children to the streets. Recommendations to improve the treatment of street children in Kenya are offered. Appendixes contain supplemental information on United Nations conventions, standards, and principles related to juvenile justice. 302 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Abused children; Child abuse; Child victims; Crime in foreign countries; Crimes against children; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Foreign police; Homeless children; Human rights violations; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Kenya; Police Brutality; Police misconduct; Rights of minors; Victims in foreign countries
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