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Defence for Children International expresses its grave concern regarding the situation of children in Kenya : Urgent request for intervention

Defence for Children International (DCI) is a worldwide movement, set up during the International Year of the Child (1979) to ensure on-going, practical, systematic and concerted international action directed towards promoting and protecting the rights of the child, as articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through its International Secretariat in Geneva, its International Executive Council and its national sections in 40 countries around the globe, it implements and monitors child rights' projects on an international, national, regional and local level.

 On behalf of Defence for Children International (DCI), its International Executive Council requests URGENT intervention related to the following two situations in Kenya .

Brief description of situation 1:

Based on information received by DCI-Kenyan section, a total of 95 people, many of whom were children and infants, have been massacred in the Turbi area of the Marsabit District of Northern Kenya during the first and second week of July 2005 by organized armed groups from among the pastoralist Gabra and Borana tribes. In this semi-arid, remote area, there have long been clashes and hostility between the Gabra and Borana over the control of scarce water wells and grazing lands.

To cite two incidents of the information received, on Tuesday 12 July 2023 , a group of Boranas raided a Gabra village in Turbi, about 580 kilometres (360 miles) northeast of Nairobi , killing at least 56 people including 22 children. This was followed by a revenge attack by a group of Gabras who killed nine Boranas, including four children, after pulling them from a car driven by a priest. According to the priest’s testimony, they were bludgeoned to death with stones and rocks before him.

DCI-Kenya reports that 14,378 people have thus far been displaced as a result of the massacres in the Marsabit District. The majority of these are women and children. Normal school activities have been disrupted as a result. A general situation of insecurity reigns in the affected area.

Brief description of situation 2:

Based on further information received by DCI-Kenyan section, several incidences of forced mass evictions have been carried out by Kenyan government security personnel at various places in the country in the past 6 months. One forced mass eviction of 10,000 families in the Mau Narok areas of the Rift Valley Province in the Southwest of Kenya took place from 27 th June 2005 until the 12 th July 2005 . Government officials claim that the forest and its environs are water catchment areas and thus should be environmentally protected sites. However people are being evicted using force and no alternative housing is being offered. Many victims have lost their livelihoods, property and means of shelter. Some 4,600 semi-permanent houses and seven primary schools were either burnt or destroyed during the evictions. Among the evicted children are 1,721 pupils, some of whom were due to sit the National Exams at the end this year.

In another reported incident, some 3000 people were forcibly evicted from a 200 acre land in Timau Forest in Meru Central District of Eastern Province on the 4 th and 5 th February 2005. This had been their home for 20 years. 1000 houses and a primary school were burnt down by police and other government personnel. The raids occurred at dawn when families including children, were still asleep. Five children are still not accounted for and the families are sheltering in shacks on a road reserve at Ngushishi Market in Meru.

Action requested

Defence for Children International is gravely concerned about the situation of children as a result of the above described incidents. According to international child rights standards, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC-1989), the basic rights of children affected by these incidents to protection, safety, survival, health, development and education are being seriously violated.

Thus, with regard to the aforementioned incidents, Defence for Children International calls upon the Kenyan government:



On behalf of the International Executive Council of DCI

Rifat Odeh Kassis

President of Defence for Children International

Geneva, 15th August 2005

Bethlehem Declaration:

No Kids Behind Bars

A statement by the International Executive Council of Defence for Children International based upon the presentations and discussions of the international conference “ No Kids Behind Bars – A Child Rights Perspective” of DCI, gathered in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestinian Territory on 30 June – 2 July 2005.

(See below in Latest News for the full English, French and Spanish version of the Bethlehem Declaration )


The Child Labour Problem

Issues and Solutions

G.K Lieten (Ed.)

This book is the latest of DCI's publications. The last Monitor produced was in September 2002. After many years of publishing the magazine in several languages and taking a short break we are glad to bring back the Monitor the year of our 25th Anniversary.

With our President, Jorge Vila making the introduction this book has articles by;

Jaap Doek 'The CRC: Challenges ahead'

K. Lieten 'Globalisation and Child Labour'

K. Tomasevski 'Child Labour and Education'

Peter Bille Larsen 'Child Labour and Indigenous Children'

Albertine de Lange 'Child Trafficking. Observations on Burkina Faso'

Walter Alarcón Glasinovich 'Reflections on the Process of Eradication of Child Labour in Latin America'

Uday Kumar Varma & Anoop Satpathy 'Declining Trends: Child Labour in India'

V. Murillo 'The Implementation of the ILO Convention 182'

Ans Kolk 'Corporate Codes of Conduct and Child Labour'

Please contact us if you wish to obtain this publication from the International Secretariat.