By Joseph Muchiri
According to a report by the Children’s office in charge of Embu West, East and North districts, there were 536 cases of child neglect last year.
While releasing the report on Tuesday, Children’s Officer Irene Komu said most of the abandoned children resorted to living in the streets.
She said the children end up working as child labourers with others engaging in various forms of crime to survive.
She said a survey conducted on the street children shows 71 per cent have been living in the streets for more than three years, 18.7 per cent between one and three years and 9.3 per cent for less than one year.
“Many of the children had lived in the streets for more than three years with others being born there. Some children between the age of five and nine years told us they have lived in the streets for more than three years,” she said.
Komu said her office had also handled two cases of child trafficking, seven cases of child labour and 18 cases of abandonment.
She said abandonment of children has played a big role in the rise of the number of street children in the area.
She noted the high cost of living is largely to blame for the increase of the number of street children.
Komu said her office conducted meetings with the children to senstise them on how to engage in productive activities and offering counselling and rehabilitation. She called on the society to respect the rights of children as stipulated in the Constitution, adding anyone found violating them risked arrest.