July 13, 2024

Kenya’s government will abolish all privately owned orphanages and children’s homes within the next eight years, a government minister has said.

Minister of Social Protection Florence Bore said their closure was aimed at ending child trafficking.

She said the children would be placed in family and community care, which offered a better environment for them.

A 2017 UN children’s agency report estimated that 40,000 children lived in 811 registered institutions in Kenya.

Data on the number of children in unregistered institutions is unavailable.

Ms Bore posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the government was already in the process of reforming children’s homes and orphanages.

“In the next eight years private homes will not exist. We need to prepare in order to absorb those children,” she said on Sunday during an inspection of children’s care facilities under construction by Kenya’s government.

Ms Bore has said that the government will, however, continue housing children in facilities managed by the Child Welfare Society of Kenya, the government agency tasked with the care, protection, welfare and adoption of children in Kenya.

Kenya has planned to phase out private children’s homes and orphanages since the 2022 Children’s Act was passed.

The law recommended placing children without families in alternative care such as guardianship, foster care placement and adoption to curb the abuse and trafficking of children.

There have been widespread concerns about the exploitation of children in Kenya’s orphanages and children’s homes.

In 2017, a non-governmental organisation, Stahili Foundation, said that some orphanages and children’s homes in Kenya convince families to give away their children before using them to solicit donations.

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