Kenya has made important progress towards tackling violence against children. Global, regional and national level commitments have been made to address violence against children, as evidenced by the laws, policies, guidelines, strategies and multi-sector programmes and initiatives implemented following the development of the Response Plan to Violence Against Children (2013–2018).
In 2019, Kenya conducted a survey that measured the prevalence, nature and consequences of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children. Drawing on the latest data from the 2019 Violence against Children Survey (VACS), the Government of Kenya developed the National Prevention and Response Plan on Violence Against Children in Kenya 2019–2023 (hereafter referred to as the National Prevention and Response Plan). The plan, which aims to accelerate evidence-based multisectoral actions to address violence against children, will be led and implemented by the Government with the support of development partners, civil society organizations and community members.
The National Prevention and Response Plan is based on the premise that violence against children is never justifiable, nor is it inevitable; and if its underlying causes are identified and addressed, violence against children is entirely preventable.
The vision of the National Prevention and Response Plan is to foster a society where all children live free of all forms of violence. Its goal is for all children in Kenya to be protected from physical, sexual and emotional violence, and for those children who experience violence to have access to care, support and services. It aims to reduce the prevalence of childhood violence – that is, a child experiencing at least one form of physical, emotional and sexual violence – by 40 per cent by 2024.
The National Prevention and Response Plan was developed based on the existing gaps in the prevention of and response to violence against children in Kenya, as well as key findings from the 2019 VACS, globally available evidence-based strategies, such as INSPIRE, and prudent practices that are already being implemented in Kenya. The plan has the following six, contextualized strategic areas, which aim to prevent and respond to violence affecting children in Kenya:
- STRATEGIC AREA 1: Laws and policies
- STRATEGIC AREA 2: Family support – parenting skills and economic strengthening
- STRATEGIC AREA 3: Education and life skills
- STRATEGIC AREA 4: Community norms and values
- STRATEGIC AREA 5: Response and support services
- STRATEGIC AREA 6: Coordination
These strategic areas use a socio-ecological model to address the various layers of risk and protective factors affecting violence against children. Each strategic area has an objective, a rationale, approaches and corresponding actions. The lead actors are government ministries, departments and agencies; and supporting actors include development partners, civil society organizations and the private sector.
The Department of Children Services led the development of the National Prevention and Response Plan through the Technical Working Group on Violence Against Children, which includes representatives of relevant ministries and civil society organizations. The plan’s strategic actions were informed by the views and opinions of children from different counties.
The National Prevention and Response Plan monitoring plan aims to obtain reliable, adequate and timely data on violence against children and improve access to and use of data and information by the Government, development partners, civil society organizations and other stakeholders for evidence-based planning, implementation and reporting. Monitoring will be conducted at the national, county and sub-county levels. An evaluation will be conducted at the end of the five-year implementation.
The National Prevention and Response Plan also includes cost estimates and a resource mobilization plan to facilitate advocacy for financial and human resources required for its implementation. The communication plan was developed to ensure adequate dissemination.