Posted: 27 November 2017
Mary* is 14 and has already bravely taken a stand. She reported her father to the local police for the abuse, to which he was subjecting her. He was arrested and charged. Her family however did not stand with her, evicting her from the family home for bringing dishonour. She was taken by the police to the local children's remand home for her protection - but she is now held as a prisoner, unable to leave, to access education or to see her friends.
As a witness in the case, she has no right to legal representation nor to be kept up to date with any developments. She had no-one to stand with her.
CLEAR paralegals heard of Mary's case during a regular visit to the remand home and are standing with her - pursuing alternative accommodation, where she will be safe but free to continue living; following up on the case against her father to ensure she is aware of what is happening, and working with the authorities to support Mary through this.
Sadly Mary is not alone - a recent report indicates that in 2015/16 around 40%* of children held in children's remand homes in Kenya were classed as vulnerable, and not accused of any crime. Thankfully CLEAR is working within a number of these remand homes to support the children and young people caught up within the justice system, whether as a victim, bystander or potential offender.
*Names changed to protect identity
*National Council on the Administration of Justice, Criminal Justice System in Kenya: An Audit, 2016