Point in Time
Act No: No. 29 of 2022
Act Title: CHILDREN

An Act of Parliament to give effect to Article 53 of the Constitution; to make provision for children rights, parental responsibility, alternative care of children including guardianship, foster care placement and adoption; to make provision for care and protection of children and children in conflict with the law; to make provision for, and regulate the administration of children services; to establish the National Council for Children’s Services and for connected purposes

[ Date of commencement: 26th July, 2022. ]
[ Date of assent: 6th July, 2022. ]
Arrangement of Sections
PART I – PRELIMINARY
1.
Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Children Act, 2022.

2.
Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"abandoned" in relation to a child, means a child—

(a)

who has been deserted by the parent, guardian or caregiver; or

(b)

whose parent, guardian or care giver has wilfully failed to make contact with the child for a period of more than six months;

"actual custody" means the physical possession, care and control over a child, whether or not such custody is exercised independently or jointly with another person;

"adoption" means the process through which a child is permanently placed with a legal parent or parents in accordance with Part XIV;

"adoption order" means an adoption order made under section 183 vesting the parental rights and responsibilities relating to a child in the adopter;

"adopter" means a person in whose favour an adoption order is made;

"aftercare" means the services offered to children who leave alternative care as they transit to independent living;

"age" means the actual chronological age of the child from conception or the child’s apparent age as determined by a Medical Officer in any case where the actual age of the child is unascertainable;

"alternative care" means the arrangement whereby a child is looked after outside the parental home under the provisions of this Act;

"authorised officer" includes a police officer, a chief, a children’s officer, a probation officer, prison officer, a registered medical practitioner, a labour officer, a teacher, or any other officer authorized by the Secretary or under any other written law for the purposes of this Act;

"basic education" has the meaning assigned to it under section 2 of the Basic Education Act, 2013 (No. 14 of 2013);

"best interest of the child" means the principles that prime the child’s right to survival, protection, participation and development above other considerations and includes the rights contemplated under Article 53 (1) of the Constitution and section 8 of this Act;

"borstal institution" means a borstal institution established under section 3 of the Borstal Institutions Act (Cap. 92);

"Cabinet Secretary" means the Cabinet Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to children’s affairs;

"care and control" with respect to a child, means all rights and duties which relate to the making of the day-to- day decisions concerning the child, and includes actual custody of a child;

"Chief Executive Officer" means the Chief Executive Officer of the Council appointed under section 48;

"child" means an individual who has not attained the age of eighteen years;

"child abuse" includes—

(a)

the infliction of physical harm by any person on a child;

(b)

the infliction or inducement of physical harm by any person on a child by acts intended to cause harm or negligent acts or omissions that cause harm;

(c)

the failure by any person to protect a child from physical harm or to report a case of child abuse;

(d)

act or omissions that affects a child’s healthy social and emotional development and functioning including—

(i)

rejection;

(ii)

isolation, including depriving the child of normal social interaction with others;

(iii)

deprivation of affection or cognitive stimulation; or

(iv)

inappropriate criticism or comparison with other children, discrimination, humiliation, threats, or malicious accusations, directed at a child;

(e)

the exposure of a child to emotionally, traumatic and age-inappropriate content, information and photos of any kind;

(f)

engaging a child in child sex tourism and child trafficking;

(g)

the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct;

(h)

the use or exposure of a child in, electronic or online, platforms for purposes of prostitution, pornography or any other unlawful sexual practice;

(i)

the use of a child’s images for purposes of pornography or sexual gratification;

(j)

dissemination to a child of any material, information, education or health services that promotes, induces, condones, or normalizes sexual activity or behaviour among children or with children; or

(k)

any other similar acts calculated to cause physical, emotional, economic or psychological injury to the child;

"childcare facility" means a child care facility established by a county government pursuant to paragraph 9 of Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution and such other facility as the Cabinet Secretary may, in consultation with a county government, approve or license as a childcare facility;

‘Children’s Court’ means a Court designated as a Children Court under Part VIII;

"charitable children’s institution" means a children’s home or institution established by any person, either alone or in association with others, or by a civil society organisation and which has been duly registered with the Council for the purpose of managing programmes for the care, protection, rehabilitation and re-integration or control of children;

"Children’s institutions" means institutions established under Part VII;

"child in conflict with the law" means a person who is above the age of twelve years, but below the age of eighteen years, who has been dealt with or punished in accordance with Part XV of this Act or any other written law for contravention of the law;

"child labour" means work done by a child which—

(a)

is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for a person of that age; and

(b)

places at risk the child's well-being, education, physical or mental health, or spiritual, moral, emotional or social development;

"child marriage" means marriage or cohabitation with a child or any arrangement made for such marriage or cohabitation;

"child protection unit" means a facility located at designated police stations and established to provide, on a temporary basis, a safe and non-threatening environment for children;

"children rescue centre" includes any institution established by the Cabinet Secretary under this Act that is suitable for temporary care of children in need of care and protection, but does not include a remand home or police station.

"children’s remand home" means a place of safety where children in conflict with the law may be committed under an order of the Court until their matters are finalized;

"child trafficking" means the recruitment, transporting, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation by means of—

(a)

threat or use of force or other forms of coercion;

(b)

abduction;

(c)

fraud;

(d)

deception;

(e)

abuse of power or of position of vulnerability;

(f)

giving payment or benefit to achieve the consent of the victim; or

(g)

giving or receiving payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over the child:

Provided that the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered as "child trafficking" even if it does not involve any of the means set out in paragraphs (a) to (g);

"child welfare programme" means a child welfare programme approved by the Council in accordance with Regulations made under this Act;

"competent authority" has the meaning assigned to it under section 2 of the Persons Deprived of Liberty Act (No. 23 of 2014);

"corporal punishment" means the use of physical force applied on a child by the use of any means, including a cane or other object, with the intention of inflicting pain or discomfort for the purpose of corrective discipline or punishment;

"Council" means the National Council for Children’s Services established under section 41;

"County Children Advisory Committee" means the Advisory Committee established under section 54;

"County Executive Committee Member" means the County Executive Committee Member for the time being responsible for matters relating to children;

"County Government entity" includes sub-county, ward, village, city or urban area within a county;

"Court" means the Children’s Court designated under section 90 of this Act;

"custody" means lawful custody, whether by operation of law, written agreement or order of a Court of competent jurisdiction;

"disability" has the meaning assigned to it under Article 260 of the Constitution;

"detention" includes means confinement of a child in conflict with the law in a police cell, place of safety, rehabilitation school, child protection unit, child rescue center, children remand home or other residential facility in which the child is deprived of liberty;

"differential treatment" is preferential treatment accorded to a child who is vulnerable or who is in a precarious social-economic situation and includes affirmative action measures to protect the rights of the child;

"diversion" means the intervention and programmes designed to divert children from the criminal justice system with the aim of—

(a)

reducing stigmatization of children in conflict with the law;

(b)

identifying children at risk and connecting them with appropriate support services in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of the children engaging in antisocial behaviour; and

(c)

providing programmes and support to children who have engaged in offending conduct, prevent them progressing further into the system; and

(d)

reducing recidivism by children in conflict with the law;

"domestic servitude" means the exploitation of labour for domestic purposes;

"education" means the giving of intellectual, moral, spiritual instruction or other training to a child;

"economic exploitation" means unfairly taking advantage of another person because of their vulnerability, by grossly underpaying them for their work in comparison to average market rates payable for similar work;

"existing Charitable Children’s Institution" means a charitable children institution registered, approved or licensed by the Council prior to the commencement of this Act;

"family time order" means an order requiring a child to spend a specified number of hours with their family;

"family group conference" means a meeting convened for purposes of section 232;

"female genital mutilation" has the meaning assigned to it under section 2 of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2011;

"fit person" means a person in respect of whom it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court to be of high moral character and integrity, and who is capable of exercising proper care and guardianship of a child;

"forced male circumcision" comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the male genitalia or other injury to the male genital organs, or any harmful procedure to the male genitalia, for non-medical reasons, that is performed with or without any undue influence, inducement, enticement, coercion, or intimidation on a male child—

(a)

without consent of the child’s parents or guardian;

(b)

belonging to a community that does not practice male circumcision and without the consent of the child's parents or guardian;

(c)

with the intention to cause grievous harm or injury to a child;

(d)

in a manner that infringes on a child’s right to privacy or subjects a child to ridicule, embarrassment, humiliation or otherwise harms a child;

but does not include a sexual reassignment procedure or a medical procedure that has a genuine therapeutic purpose;

"foster care placement" means temporary placement of a child or children in the care of a person who is not the parent, relative or guardian of the child;

"foster parent" means a person with whom a child is placed in accordance with section 174;

"grooming" means establishing a relationship of trust or emotional connection with a child, either personally or through electronic means, with the aim to manipulate the child or adult care giver and which relationship may facilitate sexual contact or other child abuse that promotes, induces or normalizes sexual activity or behaviour among or with children;

"guardian" means an individual who is appointed under Part X, to exercise care and control of a child;

"guardian ad litem" means an adult appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child;

"home", in relation to a child, means the place where the child’s parent, guardian, relative or foster parent permanently resides or, if there is no parent, guardian or relative living, and the child has no foster parent, the child’s parent’s or guardian’s or relative’s last permanent residence;

Provided that—

(a)

in the case of a parent, guardian or relative having or having had more than one permanent place of residence, the parent, guardian or relative shall be presumed to be or to have been permanently resident at the place of such person’s principal permanent residence; and

(b)

where the Court is unable to determine the home of any such child, the child shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to have his home in the local jurisdiction of the area he or she is found;

"Inspector General" means the Inspector General of Police appointed under Article 245(2)(a) of the Constitution;

"intersex child" means a child with a congenital condition in which the biological sex characteristics cannot be exclusively categorised in the common binary of female or male due to inherent and mixed anatomical, hormonal, gonadal or chromosomal patterns, which could be apparent prior to, at birth, in childhood, puberty or adulthood;

"kafaalah" means the taking in of a child who is deprived of parental and family care and protection by a person professing the Islamic faith who is capable of looking after a child in accordance with this Act;

"kinship adoption" means the adoption of a child by a person who is a relative of the child;

"legal aid" has the meaning assigned to it under section 2 of the Legal Aid Act, 2016 (No. 6 of 2016);

"legal custody" means the conferment, to a person, of parental rights and responsibilities of a person having lawful custody over a child for a defined period of time under an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction;

"maintenance order" means an order issued by a court directing a specified person to make such periodic or lump sum payment for the maintenance of the child on such terms as the Court may consider appropriate;

"medical practitioner" has the meaning assigned to it under section 2 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act (Cap. 253);

"Ministry" means the Ministry responsible for matters relating to children;

"nursery" means any institution or place at which for the time being, five or more children under the age of seven years are received and cared for regularly at a fee;

"obscene material" includes any book, magazine, film, video or audio tape or print or electronic or social media or other medium which is of a kind targeted at or is likely to fall into the hands of children and which consists wholly or mainly of stories in pictures with or without addition of written matter or video films and cassette tapes which contains pictures or stories which portray harmful morally repugnant or sexually explicit information, such as—

(a)

the commission of crime;

(b)

acts of violence; or

(c)

incidents of repulsive or indecent representation or immoral characters;

"orphan" means a child who has lost one or both of his or her parents in death;

"parent" means the mother or father or any person who is conferred parental rights by law;

"place of safety" includes any institution, school, feeding centre, hospital or other place that is suitable for temporary care of children, but does not include a children’s remand home, rehabilitation school, police station or child protection unit;

"Principal Registrar" has the meaning assigned to it under the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Cap. 149);

"private sector" means the non-public sector of the economy;

"psychological abuse" means the regular and deliberate use of a range of words and non-physical actions used with the purpose to manipulate, hurt, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally; and/or distort, confuse or influence a person’s thoughts and actions within their everyday lives, changing their sense of self and harming their wellbeing;

"Public Benefit Organizations" has the meaning assigned to it under section 5 of the Public Benefits Organisations Act, 2013 (No. 18 of 2013);

"radicalization" means a process by which a person comes to adopt extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that are aimed at inciting the person to violence or into any behavior and belief that is harmful to the child;

"rehabilitation institution" means any institution which provides the reception, maintenance, training and rehabilitation of children pursuant to an order of a Court;

"rehabilitation school" means a rehabilitation school established under section 78;

"relative" means—

(a)

in relation to a child, any person related to the child, whether of the full blood, half blood or by affinity and, where an adoption order has been made in respect of the child or any other person under this Act, any person who would be a relative of the child within the meaning of this definition if the adopted person was the child of the adopter born inside marriage; and

(b)

for the purpose of adoption, a mother, father, brother or half brother, sister or half-sister, maternal or paternal uncle or aunt or grandparent or step-parent of a child;

"reporting order" means an order requiring a child to report to a specified person at a time specified in such order so as to enable such person to monitor the child’s behaviour;

"residence order" is an order of the Court made with respect to a child’s living arrangements if the arrangements regulated by the order consist of, or include, arrangements which relate to either or more of the following—

(a)

with whom the child is to live;

(b)

when the child is to live with any person; and

(c)

where the child is to live;

"resident" means a person who resides in Kenya;

"residential facility" means any residential facility established and designated to receive sentenced children;

"restorative justice" means an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as involving the community;

"Secretary" means the Secretary of Children's Services appointed under section 37;

"spouse" means—

(a)

husband or a wife; or

(b)

in relation to a wife of a polygamous marriage, the wife applying for an adoption order either as the sole applicant or jointly with the husband, or the wife into whose care a husband applying for an adoption order proposes to give the child;

"state" has the meaning assigned to it under Article 260 of the Constitution;

"step parent" means a parent married to a child’s biological mother or father;

"supervision and guidance order" means an order placing a child under the supervision and guidance of a mentor or peer in order to monitor and guide the child's behavior;

"symbolic restitution" means the giving of an object owned, made or bought by a child, or the giving of service by the child to a person, a group of persons or an institution, as symbolic compensation for the harm caused by an offending child;

"torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act which the person or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing the person or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity; and

"vulnerable child" means a child whose safety, wellbeing or development is threatened, infringed or violated, and includes a child who is emotionally deprived or traumatized.

"welfare report" means a document prepared by a Children Officer to help a Court reach a decision about the upbringing of a child.

3.
Objects of the Act.

The objectives of this Act are to—

(a)

give effect to the provisions of Articles 27, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 and 53 of the Constitution on matters relating to children; and

(b)

give effect to the State’s obligations concerning the wellbeing of children in accordance with the general rules of international law, treaties and conventions ratified by Kenya.

4.
Conflict of laws.
(1)

This Act shall prevail in the case of any inconsistency between this Act and any other legislation on children matters.

(2)

Despite subsection (1), a provision in another legislation on children matters may prevail if it offers a greater benefit in law to a child.

(3)

A judicial or administrative institution or any person making an interpretation as to conflict of any provision or laws shall have regard to the best interests of a child.

PART II – SAFEGUARDS FOR THE RIGHTS AND BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD
5.
Realization of the rights of the child.
(1)

The State shall take measures to progressively achieve the full realization of the rights of the child set out in this Part.

(2)

The Cabinet Secretary shall ensure development, review and implementation of relevant policies, laws and programs to give effect to subsection (1).

6.
Survival and development of the child.
(1)

Every child shall have the right to life, survival, wellbeing, protection and development.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), no court shall pass a death sentence for any offence committed by a child.

7.
Name and nationality.
(1)

Every child shall have a right to a name and nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by their parents.

(2)

Every child has the right to be registered in the Register of Births immediately after birth in accordance with the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Cap. 149).

(3)

The Principal Registrar shall take measures to ensure correct documentation and registration of intersex children at birth.

(4)

A child found in Kenya who is or appears to be less than eight years of age, and whose nationality and parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen by birth.

8.
Best interests of the child.
(1)

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies—

(a)

the best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration;

(b)

the best interests of the child shall include, but shall not be limited to the considerations set out in the First Schedule.

(2)

All judicial and administrative institutions, and all persons acting in the name of such institutions, when exercising any powers conferred under this Act or any other written law, shall treat the interests of the child as the first and paramount consideration to the extent that this is consistent with adopting a course of action calculated to—

(a)

safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of the child;

(b)

conserve and promote the welfare of the child; and

(c)

secure for the child such guidance and correction as is necessary for the welfare of the child, and in the public interest.

(3)

In any matters affecting a child, the child shall be accorded an opportunity to express their opinion, and that opinion shall be taken into account in appropriate cases, having regard to the child’s age and degree of maturity.

(4)

The Cabinet Secretary shall issue guidelines to give effect to this section.

9.
Non-discrimination.
(1)

No person shall discriminate against a child on the grounds of age, origin, sex, religion, creed, custom, language, opinion, conscience, colour, birth, health status, pregnancy, social, political, economic or other status, race, disability, tribe, residence or local connection or any other status.

(2)

A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or to both.

10.
Differential treatment not discriminatory.
(1)

Notwithstanding sections 8 and 9, differential treatment of a child which is intended to protect the best interest of the child shall not be deemed to be discrimination against the child.

(2)

No differential treatment shall limit any rights of the child under this Act or under the Constitution.

11.
Right to parental care.
(1)

Every child has the right to parental care and protection.

(2)

Except as is otherwise provided under this Act, every child has the right to live with his or her parents.

(3)

Despite subsection (2), a child may be separated from his or her parents where the Court or the Secretary determines that the separation is in the best interest of the child.

(4)

Where a child is separated from his or her parents under subsection (3), the child shall be provided with the best alternative care available, in accordance with this Act or any other written law, giving priority to family based alternative care.

(5)

Where an order made under subsection (3) applies to two or more siblings, the order shall provide that the siblings be placed under care and protection together and that they may not be separated, except for such compelling reasons as the Court shall record.

(6)

Subject to subsection (3), every child who is separated from one or both parents shall have the right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the parent or parents on a regular basis, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that such contact is not in the best interest of the child.

(7)

Where a child is separated from his or her parent or parents otherwise than under an order of the Court, and without the consent of the parent or parents, the Secretary shall, on request by the parent or parents, facilitate the tracing and reunification of the child with the parent or parents.

12.
Right to social security.
(1)

Every child whose parent or guardian is unable to maintain the child has the right to social security as guaranteed by Article 43(3) of the Constitution.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), "social security" includes alternative care services provided under this Act, and in particular—

(a)

kinship care;

(b)

guardianship;

(c)

foster care;

(d)

adoption;

(e)

kafaalah;

(f)

care in emergency situations;

(g)

temporary shelter;

(h)

supported independent living;

(i)

supported child-headed households;

(j)

institutional care; and

(k)

aftercare.

(3)

The objectives of alternative care under subsection (2) are to—

(a)

facilitate the provision of parental care and protection of a child in accordance with the best interest and wellbeing of the child;

(b)

place the child as close as possible to his or her usual place of residence;

(c)

provide a stable, loving and protective home for the child with permanency as the long-term goal; and

(d)

safeguard the child from abuse, violence or exploitation.

(4)

The following principles shall be considered when placing a child in alternative care—

(a)

the family is the fundamental group in society that provides the care and protection for a child;

(b)

the process of providing alternative care to a child shall be participatory, and in the best interest of the child;

(c)

poverty, disability or provision of education shall not be the driving factor for removing a child from his or her family and placing him or her in alternative care;

(d)

the removal of a child from his or her family for the purpose of placement in alternative care shall be temporary and a last resort, and shall be carefully monitored in accordance with this Act;

(e)

siblings shall be kept together during removal and placement in alternative care, unless it is unsafe to do so, or not in the best interest of the siblings;

(f)

the placement of a child in alternative care shall be appropriate to the child’s individual needs;

(g)

the provision of alternative care shall not be carried out for the primary purpose of advancing the religious, political, economic or any other personal goals of the caregiver; and

(h)

the use of institutional care shall be limited and provided under strict standards and regulations, and children under three years of age shall be placed in family-based care settings.

(5)

A child under the age of three years shall not be placed in alternative care in an institution, except in compelling circumstances and, in any event, for a period not exceeding three months.

(6)

A child may be placed in alternative care away from the parental home under a formal or informal arrangement pursuant to either—

(a)

a decision of the Court or of the Secretary; or

(b)

the initiative of the child, his or her parents or primary caregivers, or independently by a care provider in the absence of the child’s biological parents.

(7)

The Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to finance shall establish a fund under the Public Finance Management Act (No. 18 of 2012) to be known as the Child Welfare Fund to facilitate the realisation of the right guaranteed by Article 43(3) of the Constitution in respect of all reasonable expenses incurred in relation to alternative care and other social security programmes designed to facilitate the realisation of the welfare of the child.

13.
Right to basic education.
(1)

Every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education in accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of the Constitution.

(2)

It shall be the responsibility of every parent or guardian to present for admission or cause to be admitted his or her child, as the case may be, to a basic education institution.

(3)

The Cabinet Secretary shall, in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary for the time being responsible for education develop and implement policies for the realization by every child of the constitutional right to basic education.

14.
Right to leisure, recreation and play.
(1)

In addition to the right to basic education guaranteed under section 13, every child shall be entitled to leisure, play and participation in non-harmful cultural and artistic activities.

(2)

It shall be the responsibility of the government and of every parent or guardian to permit and facilitate the enjoyment by his or her child of the right to leisure and play at any public recreational facility.

(3)

Every county government shall appoint and designate specific areas in estates and villages as public child play and recreational facilities, which shall be accessible to all children, including children with disabilities.

15.
Religion and religious education.
(1)

Every child shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and religious education subject to appropriate parental guidance, and in the best interest of the child.

(2)

The religious guidance and education provided to a child under this section shall not in any way limit or hinder the child’s access to and enjoyment of any of the basic rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.

16.
Right to healthcare.
(1)

Every child shall have the right to the highest attainable standard of healthcare services in accordance with Article 43 of the Constitution:

Provided that the provisions of reproductive health services to children shall be subject to the express consent of the parent or guardian.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), every child has the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental and psychological health.

(3)

In pursuance of the right to healthcare services under this section, every child has the right to privacy and a child-friendly environment.

(4)

Every child has the right to—

(a)

access to age-appropriate information on health promotion and the prevention and treatment of ill- health and disease, mental health and reproductive health;

(b)

access to information regarding their health status;

(c)

access to information regarding the causes and treatment of his or her sickness; and

(d)

confidentiality regarding his or her health status and the health status of a parent, care-giver or family member, except when maintaining such confidentiality is not in the best interests of the child;

(e)

access to age-appropriate information that affirms human dignity in human relationships and promotes sexual risk avoidance.

(5)

The information provided to a child pursuant to this section shall be in a format accessible to the child, having regard to the special needs of children with disabilities.

(6)

It shall be the responsibility of every parent or guardian to present his or her child who is in need of health care to a suitable health care facility and to ensure that the child receives appropriate health care services.

(7)

Any parent or guardian who willfully neglects, fails or refuses to present his or her child in need of health care to a health care facility for purposes of treatment commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand shillings or, in default, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days.

(8)

No charge preferred under subsection (7) shall operate as a bar to any relevant charges under the Penal Code (Cap. 63).

(9)

Nothing in this section shall be presumed to abrogate parental obligation to education of their children.

17.
Right to inheritance.
(1)

Every child shall have the right to inherit property in accordance with the Law of Succession Act (Cap. 160).

(2)

Subject to the Law of Succession Act—

(a)

every child shall be entitled to equal treatment and protection, and to the benefit of the law; and

(b)

no person shall disinherit or cause a child to be disinherited on any grounds, including age, origin, sex, religion, creed, custom, language, opinion, conscience, colour, birth, health status, pregnancy, social, political, economic or other status, race, disability, tribe, residence or local connection.

(3)

A person who contravenes subsection (2) or otherwise deprives a child of any property or benefit accruing to the child under or by virtue of the law relating to inheritance commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five million shillings, or to both.

(4)

In addition to the penal sanctions prescribed in subsection (3), the child shall be entitled to full restitution or the property of benefit accruing to the child.

(5)

The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) shall apply without prejudice to the provisions of section 45 of the Law of Succession Act.

(6)

The action contemplated in subsection (4) may be brought by a duly constituted next friend or by any other person in accordance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

18.
Protection from child labour.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to child labour, domestic servitude, economic exploitation or any work or employment which is hazardous, interferes with the child’s education or is likely to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, moral or social development.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a)

"employment" has the meaning assigned to it under section 52 of the Employment Act (No. 11 of 2007);

(b)

the provisions of Part VII of the Employment Act (No. 11 of 2007) shall apply with necessary modifications in addition to, and not in substitution for, the provisions of this Act relating to the employment of children or subjection of children to child labour.

(3)

No person shall use, procure or offer a child for slavery or practices similar to slavery, including begging, debt bondage, servitude, or forced or compulsory labour or provision of personal services, whether or not for gain.

(4)

The Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to labour shall, within one year of the commencement of this Act, in consultation with the Cabinet Secretaries responsible for matters relating to children affairs and education, make Regulations prescribing the terms and conditions of work and the kind of work that may be engaged in by children in the following age categories—

(a)

children who have attained the age of thirteen but have not attained the age of sixteen years; and

(b)

children who have attained the age of sixteen but have not attained the age of eighteen years.

Provided that the regulations shall take account of the best interest of the child.

19.
Protection from armed conflicts.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to hostilities, social strife or recruitment in armed conflict, whether internal or cross border.

(2)

In situations of armed conflict, the state shall establish mechanisms for the protection, care and respect of the rights of the child recognized under the Constitution, this Act or any other written law.

(3)

The State shall establish mechanisms to facilitate the protection, rehabilitation, care, recovery and re- integration into normal social life, of any child who may be a recruit or victim of armed conflict, social strife or natural disaster.

(4)

No person shall subject a child to armed conflict, hostilities or recruit a child in armed conflicts, and where armed conflict occurs, respect for and protection and care of children shall be maintained in accordance with the law.

20.
Rights of children with disabilities.
(1)

A child with disability shall, in addition to the rights guaranteed under the Constitution, have the right to be treated with dignity, and to be accorded appropriate medical treatment, special care, education and training free of charge.

(2)

In addition to the right under subsection (1), a child with disability shall have the rights and privileges provided under the Persons with Disabilities Act (No. 14 of 2003).

(3)

The State shall establish such institutions or facilities including child care facilities, health facilities and educational institutions as may be necessary to ensure the progressive realization of the right under this section.

21.
Rights of intersex children.

An intersex child shall have the right to be treated with dignity, and to be accorded appropriate medical treatment, special care, education, training and consideration as a special need category in social protection services.

22.
Protection from abuse, etc.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to—

(a)

psychological abuse; or

(b)

child abuse.

(2)

Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding two million shillings, or to both.

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), any person who, through any electronic system, network, or other communication technology—

(a)

proposes or solicits to meet a child for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities contrary to the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act (No. 3 of 2006);

(b)

transmits or causes to be transmitted any obscene material, or otherwise makes such material accessible to children; or

(c)

in any other way, subjects a child to online abuse, harassment or exploitation, whether through social networks, playing online games or by use of mobile phones or other electronic devices, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine not exceeding two million shillings, or to both.

(4)

The reference in subsection (3)(c) to online abuse includes cyber bullying, grooming and solicitation, cyber enticement, cyber harassment and cyber stalking.

(5)

A person who intentionally transmits or causes the transmission of any communication through a computer system or network to bully a child, and such communication places the child in fear of death, violence or bodily harm, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine not exceeding two million shillings, or to both.

(6)

In this section "bullying" includes cyber bullying or the use of information communication technology calculated to harm a victim or victims in deliberate, repeated and hostile ways contrary to the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act (No. 5 of 2018).

23.
Protection from harmful cultural practices, etc.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to—

(a)

in the case of a male child, forced circumcision;

(b)

female genital mutilation;

(c)

child marriage;

(d)

virginity testing;

(e)

girl child beading;

(f)

except with the advice of a medical geneticist, organ change or removal in case of an intersex child; or

(g)

any other cultural or religious rite, custom or practice that is likely to negatively affect the child's life, health, social wellbeing, dignity, physical, emotional or psychological development.

(2)

A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or to a fine of not less than five hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

(3)

A person who causes death to a child, whether directly or indirectly, in consequence of other related procedure in contravention of subsection (1) (a) commits an offence, and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for life.

24.
Protection from drugs and substance abuse.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to—

(a)

the use of hallucinogens, narcotics, alcohol, tobacco products, glue, psychotropic drugs or any other drugs that may be declared harmful by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to health; or

(b)

involvement in the production, trafficking, sale, storage or distribution of the any of the drugs or substances referred to in paragraph (a).

(2)

A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not less than five hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

25.
Right to freedom from torture etc.
(1)

Every child has the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as provided under Article 25 (a) of the Constitution

(2)

The assignment of any task or infliction of punishment by way of penalty for any offence committed by a child under any law shall not be construed as a contravention of the right specified in subsection (1) Provided that any such punishment shall be humane and preserve the child’s dignity, and be commensurate with the evolving capacity of the child.

(3)

Any person who—

(a)

unlawfully deprives a child of his or her liberty;

(b)

subjects the child to—

(c)

torture or other cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment, including corporal punishment,

(d)

any cultural or religious practice which dehumanizes or is injurious to the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the child,

commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to the offence under the Prevention of Torture Act (No. 12 of 2017).

26.
Detention of children in conflict with the law.
(1)

A child shall not be deprived of his or her liberty or otherwise treated in a manner contrary to Articles 29 (f) and 51 of the Constitution, except in accordance with the Persons Deprived of Liberty Act (No. 23 of 2014).

(2)

Children deprived of liberty, detained or held in custody or committed to an institution shall be held separate from adults in facilities, including transportation facilities, appropriate to their special needs and age.

(3)

Male, female and intersex children deprived of liberty shall be accommodated in separate facilities.

(4)

Where children with disabilities are deprived of liberty under any legal process, they shall be treated on an equal basis with others and shall be entitled to such guarantees as are in accordance with the Constitution, this Act and the Persons with Disabilities Act (No. 14 of 2003).

(5)

Children with disabilities deprived of liberty or accommodated in child protection units shall be accommodated in facilities that adequately meet their personal needs, taking into account the condition and nature of the disability.

(6)

The competent authorities shall take appropriate measures to facilitate humane treatment and respect for the privacy, legal capacity and inherent human dignity of children deprived of liberty, including children with disabilities.

(7)

The detention of a child under this Act or any other written law shall be a matter of last resort and in conformity with Article 53 (f) of the Constitution.

(8)

A child who is apprehended and detained shall be accorded legal and other assistance by the State as well as contact with his or her family.

27.
Privacy.
(1)

No person shall subject a child to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family or private affairs, or correspondence, or to attacks upon his or her honour or reputation.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), parents or legal guardians shall have the right to exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of their children.

(3)

The personal data concerning a child shall be processed only in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act (No. 24 of 2019).

28.
Right to assemble, demonstrate, petition and participate in public life.
(1)

Every child has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, demonstrate or present petitions to public authorities, and to freely participate in matters affecting children through lawfully established forums, associations, and assemblies at the national and county levels.

(2)

The right of a child to assemble, demonstrate, and to present petitions, shall be subject to the rights of others.

(3)

In addition to the rights guaranteed under subsections (1) and (2), every child shall have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them, and have those views heard and given due weight in accordance with the child's age and maturity.

(4)

The right guaranteed under subsection (3) shall be exercised—

(a)

in accordance with the national values and principles of governance prescribed in Article 10 (2) of the Constitution.

(b)

voluntarily by a child and without any undue influence, coercion, inducement or enticement by any person.

(5)

The Cabinet Secretary may issue guidelines to give effect to this section.

29.
Enforcement of rights under this Part.
(1)

Any person may institute court proceedings claiming that any right or fundamental freedom of the child protected under this Part has been denied, violated or infringed, or is threatened.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), court proceedings may be instituted by—

(a)

a parent or guardian acting in the interest of their child;

(b)

a person acting on behalf of a parent or guardian who cannot act on behalf of their child or children;

(c)

a person acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of children;

(d)

a person acting in the public interest; or

(e)

a duly registered association acting in the interest of one or more of its members, whose primary object is the promotion and protection of children’s rights.

(3)

The High Court shall hear and determine an application under subsection (1), and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of this Part.

(4)

Any court cost under this section shall be kept at a minimum.

(5)

The Chief Justice may make—

(a)

rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on it or under this section, including rules with respect to the time within which applications may be brought, and references shall be made to the High Court;

(b)

rules for the enforcement of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the child; and

(c)

practice guidelines for the Children’s Court.

(6)

The Cabinet Secretary may make regulations for the better carrying into effect the provisions of this Part, including regulations for the effective implementation of alternative care arrangements.

PART III – PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
30.
Duties and responsibilities of a child.

In the applications of the provisions of this Act and in any matter before a court of law concerning a child, due regard shall be had to the duties and responsibilities of a child to —

(a)

work for the cohesion of the family;

(b)

respect his parents, superiors and elders at all times and assist them in case of need provided that the child’s best interest shall remain paramount;

(c)

serve his national community by placing his physical and intellectual abilities at its service;

(d)

preserve and strengthen social and national solidarity;

(e)

preserve and strengthen the positive cultural values of his community in his relations with other members of that community;

(f)

attend school unless prevented by factors beyond their ability;

(g)

not discriminate against other children on account of ethnicity, race, disability, gender, social status or other grounds;

(h)

protect the environment;

(i)

not abuse or harm other children; and

(j)

not destroy any property.

31.
Equal parental responsibility.
(1)

In this Act, "parental responsibility" means all the duties, rights, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and the child’s property in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.

(2)

The duties referred to in subsection (1) include, but are not limited to—

(a)

the duty to maintain the child and, in particular, to provide the child with—

(i) basic nutrition;
(ii) shelter;
(iii) water and sanitation facilities;
(iv) clothing;
(v) medical care, including immunization;
(vi) basic education; and
(vii) general guidance, social conduct and moral values;
(b)

the duty to protect the child from neglect, abuse, discrimination or other differential treatment;

(c)

the duty to—

(i) provide parental guidance in religious, moral, social, cultural and other values that are not harmful to the child;
(ii) determine the name of the child;
(iii) procure registration of the birth of his or her child;
(iv) appoint a legal guardian in respect of the child;
(v) receive, recover and otherwise deal with the property of the child for the benefit, and in the best interests, of the child;
(vi) facilitate or restrict the migration of the child from or within Kenya;
(vii) upon the death of the child, to arrange for the burial, cremation of the child or any other acceptable method of interment; and
(d)

the duty to ensure that, during the temporary absence of the parent or guardian, the child shall be committed to the care of a fit person.

(3)

Whether or not a person has parental responsibility over a child shall not affect—

(a)

any obligation which such person may have in relation to the child, such as a statutory duty to maintain the child; or

(b)

any rights which, in the event of the child’s death, such person may have in relation to the administration of the child’s estate in accordance with the Law of Succession Act (Cap. 160).

(4)

A person who does not have parental responsibility over a particular child, but has care and control over the child, may, subject to the provisions of this Act, do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare.

(5)

The Cabinet Secretary may make regulations to give effect to the provisions of this section.

32.
Equal parental responsibility.
(1)

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the parents of a child shall have parental responsibility over the child on an equal basis, and neither the father nor the mother of the child shall have a superior right or claim against the other in exercise of such parental responsibility whether or not the child is born within or outside wedlock.

(2)

A person who has parental responsibility over a child shall at all times have the duties, powers and responsibilities as are prescribed in this Act or any other written law.

(3)

A person with parental responsibility over a child shall not act in any way that contravenes any order of a court of competent jurisdiction made with respect to the child under this Act or any other written law.

(4)

A person who has parental responsibility over a child may not relinquish or assign such responsibilities to another person.

(5)

Nothing in subsection (4) prevents a person from making temporary arrangements, during his or her absence, to allow a fit person to exercise his or her parental responsibilities over a child for and on his or her behalf.

(6)

The making of the temporary arrangements referred to in subsection (4) by a person shall not affect or limit that person’s liability arising from his or her failure to exercise his or her responsibility under this section.

33.
Parental responsibility agreement.
(1)

Parents of a child and who are not married to each other may enter into a parental responsibility agreement, in the prescribed form, whereby both, in the best interests of the child, designate and agree on clear individual responsibilities towards the child.

(2)

An agreement under subsection (1) may be in the nature of a parenting plan in which the parents specify—

(a)

how the child or children shall spend time with each parent;

(b)

how the parents shall make joint decisions on matters relating to their respective parenting responsibilities, including religious upbringing;

(c)

contact information;

(d)

visitation schedule;

(e)

holiday and school break schedule;

(f)

transport and travel within and outside Kenya;

(g)

responsibility for health insurance and healthcare services;

(h)

the need for notification of parental movement in cases where either or both parents relocate or change residence;

(i)

the manner in which decisions relating to the education of the child shall be made; and

(j)

the joint and several responsibilities expenses for extra-curricular activities of the child.

(3)

A parental responsibility agreement may only be revoked or terminated by an order of the Court made on application by—

(a)

a person who has parental responsibility over the child; or

(b)

a child, with the leave of the Court.

(4)

The Court may only grant leave under subsection (3)(b) if it is satisfied that the child sufficiently understands the nature and effect of the application made to the Court.

(5)

A person who, in breach of a parental responsibility agreement or any order of the Court—

(a)

hinders another person who has access to a child, or who has parental responsibility in respect of that child in accordance with such order or agreement, from exercising such access or responsibilities; or

(b)

abducts the child or otherwise prevents that other person from exercising such access or responsibilities in respect of the child, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

(6)

A person who, having care or custody of a child in respect of whom another person has access or parental responsibility pursuant to a parental responsibility agreement or to an order of the court, fails to notify that other person in writing of the change in his or her residential address at which the child resides, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

34.
Transmission of parental responsibility.
(1)

On the death of the mother of the child, the father of the child, if still living, shall have parental responsibility for the child either alone or with the testamentary guardian (if any) appointed by the mother.

(2)

On the death of the father of a child, the mother of the child, if living, shall exercise parental responsibility in respect of the child either alone or with the testamentary guardian (if any) appointed by the father.

(3)

The surviving parent of the child shall be entitled to object to any testamentary guardian appointed by either of them acting, and may apply to the court for the revocation of the appointment of the testamentary guardian.

(4)

Where both the mother and the father of the child are deceased, any of the following persons may exercise parental responsibility over the child—

(a)

a testamentary guardian appointed by either of the parents;

(b)

a guardian appointed by the court on application in the prescribed form;

(c)

the person in whose power a residence order was made prior to the death of the child’s father and mother, and which is for the time being in force;

(d)

a fit person appointed by the Court on application in the prescribed form;

(e)

in the absence of the persons specified in paragraphs (a), (b) (c) and (d), a relative of the child; or

(f)

failing arrangement under paragraph (e), by any other fit person on placement of the child in alternative family-based care.

(5)

The relatives of the deceased parent of the child, may, if they consider the surviving parent of the child to be unfit to exercise parental responsibility for the child, apply to the court to make such appropriate orders as may be necessary in the circumstances of the case to safeguard the best interests of the child.

(6)

Where the parent of a child marries, the parent’s spouse shall exercise parental responsibility under the provisions of this Act, whether or not that spouse has legally adopted the child.

35.
Extension of responsibility beyond eighteenth birthday.
(1)

Parental responsibility in respect of a child may be extended by an order of the Court after the date on which the child attains the age of eighteen years if the Court is satisfied, either of its own motion or on application by any person, that special circumstances exist with regard to the welfare of the child that would necessitate the making of such extension.

(2)

The special circumstances referred to in subsection (1) include cases where the child is in need of extended parental responsibility by reason of special needs arising from severe disability or developmental disorder.

(3)

An application under this section may be made either before or after the child has attained the age of eighteen years by—

(a)

the parent;

(b)

any person who has parental responsibility over the child or by a relative of a child;

(c)

the Secretary; or

(d)

the child.

36.
Regulations and guidelines.

The Cabinet Secretary shall prescribe regulations to give effect to this Part and, in particular, to guide the formulation and implementation of programmes and actions to promote the preservation and strengthening of families.

PART IV – ADMINISTRATION OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES
37.
Office of the Secretary of Children Services.
(1)

There is established the Office of the Secretary of Children Services which shall be an office in the public service.

(2)

The Secretary shall be recruited through a competitive process and appointed by the Public Service Commission.

(3)

A person may be appointed as the Secretary of Children Services if the person—

(a)

is a citizen of Kenya;

(b)

holds a relevant bachelors and masters’ degree in social sciences from a university recognized in Kenya;

(c)

has at least ten years’ experience in social work, education, administration and management, public administration, human resource or finance management; and

(d)

meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

38.
Functions of the Secretary.

The Secretary shall—

(a)

regulate, coordinate, manage, and supervise children’s officers in delivery of the welfare and administration of children services;

(b)

be responsible for establishing, administering and maintaining child protection centres, rehabilitation schools and a remand homes in every county;

(c)

maintain up-to-date records and data on management of children services including access to welfare amenities for children;

(d)

investigate, monitor and report cases of children facing hardship;

(e)

identify, formulate and develop programmes to mitigate children facing hardship for the consideration of the Council;

(f)

assist children in hardship, including children with disabilities, children living in the street, orphaned and destitute children, children who abuse drugs, children who are sexually abused and children who are affected by domestic violence;

(g)

inquire, investigate, assess and prepare reports in accordance with this Act or any other written law in accordance with any direction of a court;

(h)

implement any direction of court including providing social or administrative support;

(i)

safeguard the welfare of a child placed under care by virtue of a care order or interim order;

(j)

procure accommodation for a child who is abandoned, in need of refuge, safety or appropriate custody;

(k)

provide services to trace, reintegrate or restore a lost or an abandoned child with parent or a guardian;

(l)

intervene and secure the removal of a child in need of care and protection to a place of safety;

(m)

promote family reconciliation and mediate in disputes involving children, parents, guardians or persons who have parental responsibility in the manner provided under this Act;

(n)

provide services to assess a child placed under care and support services to counsel, and guide children and families;

(o)

facilitate medical treatment for a child in police custody or in a children’s remand home;

(p)

provide guidance and assistance for a child during a proceeding in court;

(q)

supervise administration of children institutions including children’s rehabilitation centres, charitable children’s institutions and remand homes in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of a children;

(r)

provide quarterly reports relating to management of children’s rehabilitation centres, charitable children’s institutions and remand homes;

(s)

safeguard the welfare of children in foster care; and

(t)

perform any other function as may be prescribed under this Act.

39.
Powers of the Secretary.
(1)

The Secretary shall have the power to do all such acts as the Secretary may deem to be necessary to carry out the functions of the Secretary and may appoint, assign or delegate a function to an officer or a person to carry out a function assigned under this Act.

(2)

Without prejudice to the powers of the Director of Public Prosecution, the Secretary shall have the power to institute proceeding in respect of any contravention relating to child maintenance, child neglect and abuse.

40.
Appointment of chief officers, children officers and such other officers.

The Public Service Commission shall competitively recruit and appoint chief officers, children officers and such other officers as may be necessary to assist the Secretary in the performance of their duties under this Act.

41.
Establishment of National Council for Children’s Services.
(1)

There is established a Council to be known as the National Council for Children’s Services, which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.

(2)

The Council shall be capable, in its corporate name, of—

(a)

suing and being sued;

(b)

taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging and disposing of movable and immovable property;

(c)

entering into contracts;

(d)

receiving grants and gifts in support of projects, programmes and actions designed to promote and protect the rights of the child; and doing or performing all such other things or acts necessary for the proper performance of its functions under this Act which may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.

42.
Functions of the Council.

The National Council for Children Services shall—

(a)

be the central authority for the purposes of the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoptions;

(b)

advise the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to child protection;

(c)

collaborate with relevant state departments, state and non-state agencies to monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of all social programmes established in the interests of children;

(d)

facilitate, monitor and evaluate the enforcement of the principles of international law and treaty instruments binding on Kenya in respect of matters relating to children;

(e)

develop policy, codes of conduct regulating good practice relating to child protection and child welfare;

(f)

monitor and evaluate implementation of public education programs on the rights and welfare of children;

(g)

advice on technical and support services to state and non-state agencies participating in child welfare programmes;

(h)

prescribe training needs and requirements for authorized officers;

(i)

formulate, approve, evaluate and monitor implementation of programmes to facilitate the full implementation of Kenya’s international and regional obligations relating to children and support the formulation of appropriate reports under such obligations;

(j)

formulate, approve, evaluate and monitor implementation of policies to regulate family empowerment and social security that are designed to alleviate the hardships which impair the social welfare of children;

(k)

regulate, register, approve, evaluate and monitor implementation of child welfare programmes proposed by charitable children’s institutions in accordance with this Act;

(l)

advice the Cabinet Secretary on establishment of children rescue centers or designation of children’s institutions to operate as children rescue centers;

(m)

formulate, approve, evaluate and monitor implementation of programmes to create public awareness in all matters relating to the rights and welfare of children;

(n)

formulate, approve, evaluate and monitor implementation of programmes for the alleviation of the plight of children with special needs or requiring special attention;

(o)

promote, carry out and disseminate research relating to welfare and protection of children matters;

(p)

establish panels of persons from whom guardians ad litem appointed by the court in matters relating to children including adoption regulated under this Act;

(q)

maintain and update a register of guardians ad litem;

(r)

establish, regulate and manage the activities of County Children Advisory Committees to advise on matters relating to the rights, welfare and protection of children;

(s)

promote linkages and exchange programmes with organisations in and outside Kenya;

(t)

establish, maintain and update a database of children in Kenya;

(u)

advise the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to the formulation of national policy on domestic and inter-country adoptions;

(v)

accredit and license duly registered adoption and child protection agencies in order to facilitate domestic and inter-country adoptions;

(w)

establish, update and maintain a database for domestic and inter-country adoptions;

(x)

advise the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to adoption practice and procedure;

(y)

provide professional and technical advice and support services to licensed adoption agencies on matters relating to adoption and to individuals who intend to undertake domestic and inter- country adoption;

(z)

receive, record and report from Charitable Children Institutions, adoption societies, parents and guardians, authorised officers and other relevant persons particulars of children available for adoption;

(aa)

consult with Charitable Children Institutions and adoption societies on matters relating to adoption;

(bb)

establish, maintain and update a register of children free for adoption and prospective adoptive parents;

(cc)

certify and declare a child free for adoption;

(dd)

establish, maintain and update a database of adopted children in consultation with the Registrar;

(ee)

promote co-operation between state agencies, local and non-state agencies concerned with matters relating to adoption with central adoption authorities in other countries including tracing and repatriation of children in need of care and protection;

(ff)

review and make recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary for approval of fees chargeable by adoption societies for the processing of applications for adoption;

(gg)

make recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to the fees chargeable for registration and licensing of adoption societies;

(hh)

monitor, prepare and submit to the Cabinet Secretary annual reports on matters relating to adoption; and

(ii)

any other functions as maybe conferred on this Act.

43.
Composition of the Council.
(1)

The Council shall consist of —

(a)

a Chairperson appointed by the President;

(b)

the Principal Secretary in the Ministry for the time being responsible for matters relating to children services or a representative;

(c)

the Principal Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to finance or a representative;

(d)

the Attorney-General or a representative;

(e)

one person representing the Council of Governors;

(f)

the following three persons, not being public officers, appointed by the Cabinet Secretary–

(i) one person representing Public Benefits Organisations concerned in matters related to children activities;
(ii) one person representing faith based organisations;
(iii) one person representing the private sector;
(g)

the Secretary of children’s services; and

(h)

the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, who shall be the secretary to the Council.

(2)

In constituting the Council, the appointing authorities shall ensure that—

(a)

not more than two thirds of the Council shall be comprised of one gender;

(b)

persons with disabilities, vulnerable and marginalised groups shall be accorded equal opportunity; and

(c)

the appointments reflect the ethnic and regional diversity of the country.

(3)

A person shall be qualified for appointment to the office of Chairperson of the Council if the person—

(a)

is a citizen of Kenya;

(b)

holds a relevant post graduate degree in social sciences from a university recognized in Kenya;

(c)

has at least fifteen years’ experience in corporate governance, administration and management, public administration, human resource or finance management;

(d)

is knowledgeable in or has actively contributed to the promotion of the rights and welfare of children; and

(e)

meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

(4)

The conduct of business and affairs of the Council shall be as set out in the Second Schedule to this Act.

44.
Term of Office.
(1)

The Members of the Council appointed under section 43 (1) (a), (e) and (f) shall hold office for term of three years, and shall be eligible for reappointment for one further term of three years.

(2)

The Members, other than the Chief Executive Office, shall serve on a part-time basis.

45.
Vacancy of office of chairperson and members.
(1)

The office of the Chairperson or member of the Council shall become vacant if the holder—

(a)

dies;

(b)

resigns from office by notice in writing addressed to the respective appointing Authority specified in section 41; or

(c)

is removed from office under any of the circumstances specified in Chapter Six of the Constitution.

(2)

Where a vacancy occurs in the office of Chairperson or member of the Council, the appointing authority shall fill the vacancy within sixty days next following the notification of vacancy referred to in subsection (1).

(3)

A member appointed under subsection (2) to fill a vacancy shall serve for the respective term specified in section 44.

46.
Remuneration of members of the council.

The Council shall pay its members such remuneration or allowances as the Cabinet Secretary shall, in consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, determine.

47.
Committees of the Council.
(1)

The Council may, from time to time, establish committees for the better carrying out of its functions.

(2)

The Council may engage such experts or consultants as the Council may consider necessary for the effective discharge of its functions under this Act or any other written law.

48.
Staff of the Council.
(1)

There shall be a Chief Executive Officer of the Council who shall be competitively recruited and appointed by the Council and whose terms and conditions of service shall be determined by the Council on advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

(2)

A person shall be qualified for appointment as Chief Executive Officer if he or she—

(a)

is a citizen of Kenya;

(b)

holds a relevant post graduate degree from a university recognized in Kenya;

(c)

has at least ten years’ experience in social work, administration and management, public administration, human resource or finance management; and

(d)

meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

(3)

The Chief Executive Officer shall hold office for a term of five years renewable for one further term of five years.

(4)

The Chief Executive Officer shall, in the performance of the functions and duties of his or her office, be responsible to the Council.

(5)

The Chief Executive Officer shall be—

(a)

the secretary to the Council;

(b)

the head of the secretariat of the Council;

(c)

the accounting officer of the Council;

(d)

the custodian of all records of the Council; and

(e)

responsible for—

(i) executing decisions of the Council;
(ii) assigning duties to and supervising the staff of the Council, and for co-ordinating and regulating their work in the execution of the functions of the Council;
(iii) facilitating, co-ordinating and ensuring the effective discharge of the function of the Council; and
(iv) the performance of such other duties as may be assigned by the Council under this Act or any other written law.
(6)

The Chief Executive Officer may be removed from office Council in accordance with the terms and conditions of service, for—

(a)

inability to perform the functions of his or her office;

(b)

gross misconduct or misbehavior;

(c)

incompetence or neglect of duty; or

(d)

any other ground that would justify removal from office under his or her terms and conditions of service.

(7)

The removal of the Chief Executive Officer from his or her office shall be in accordance with the principles of fair administrative action prescribed in Article 47 of the Constitution and the law relating to fair administrative action.

(8)

The staff appointed under subsection (1) shall represent the ethnic, gender and social diversity of the country and serve on such terms and conditions as the Council may, in consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, determine.

(9)

The national government may, upon request by the Council, second to the Council such number of public officers as the Council may require.

(10)

A public officer seconded to the Council shall, during the period of secondment, be deemed to be an officer of the Council, and shall be subject only to the direction and control of the Council.

(11)

In the appointment of its staff, the Council shall ensure that not more than two thirds of the staff of the Council shall be of the same gender, taking account of —

(a)

persons with disabilities; and

(b)

regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya.

49.
The common seal of the Council.
(1)

The seal of the Council shall be such device as may be determined by the Council and shall be kept in the custody of the Chief Executive Officer, and shall not be used except on the order of the Council.

(2)

The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the chairperson and the Chief Executive Officer or any other person authorized in that behalf by a written resolution of the Council.

(3)

The common seal of the Council, when affixed to a document and duly authenticated, shall be judicially and officially noticed and, unless the contrary is proved, any necessary order or authorization of the Council under this section shall be presumed to have been duly given.

50.
Protection from personal liability.
(1)

A matter or thing done by a member of the Council or any officer, staff or agent of the Council shall not render such member, officer, staff or agent personally liable for any action, claim or demand whatsoever if the matter or thing is done in good faith for executing the functions, powers or duties of the Council.

(2)

The provisions of subsection (1) shall not relieve the Council from liability to pay compensation or damages to any person for any injury suffered by them, their property or any of their interests and arising directly or indirectly from the exercise of any power conferred under this Act or any other written law.

51.
Proceedings against the Council.
(1)

Any proceedings against the Council shall be deemed to be proceedings against the national government, and shall be subject to the Government Proceedings Act (Cap. 40) and the Public Authorities Limitations Act (Cap. 39).

(2)

Any notice or other processes in respect of legal proceedings contemplated in subsection (1) shall be served upon the Chief Executive Officer.

52.
Powers of the Council.

The Council shall, for the purpose of carrying out its functions, have power to do all such acts and things as appear to it to be requisite, advantageous or convenient for or in connection with the carrying out of its functions or incidental to their proper discharge, and may carry out any activities in that behalf either alone or in association with other persons or bodies.

53.
Regulations by the Council.

The Council may, with the approval of the Cabinet Secretary, make regulations for the effective discharge of its functions.

54.
Children Advisory Committees.
(1)

The Council may, for the better performance of its functions, establish such County Children Advisory Committees as it may deem necessary for the proper discharge of its functions at the County level in accordance with this Act.

(2)

The County Children Advisory Committees shall be comprised of the following persons—

(a)

a children officer in charge of the area;

(b)

the County Commissioner or a representative;

(c)

the County Director for Education or a representative;

(d)

the county executive member for the time being responsible for matters relating to children, or a representative;

(e)

the County Executive Committee member for the time being responsible for matters relating to education, or a representative;

(f)

the County Executive Committee member for the time being responsible for matters relating to health, or a representative;

(g)

a representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions attached to the area within the local jurisdiction of the committee;

(h)

a probation officer in charge of the area within the local limits of the committee’s jurisdiction;

(i)

a police officer attached to the area within the local jurisdiction of the committee;

(j)

a representative nominated by Public Benefits Organisations engaged in children’s welfare County activities within the local limits of the committee’s jurisdiction;

(k)

a representative nominated by public benefits organisations knowledgeable in matters relating to the rights of persons with disabilities;

(l)

a representative of faith-based organisations within the jurisdiction of the committee;

(m)

the registrar in charge of the area or a representative;

(n)

the Labour Officer in-charge of the area or a representative; and

(o)

a representative of the Council who shall be the Secretary to the Committee.

(3)

The County Children Advisory Committee shall perform the following functions—

(a)

assist and collaborate with the Council in the performance of its functions within its local jurisdiction;

(b)

provide a platform for collaboration between the national government and the county government on children matters within its jurisdiction;

(c)

make recommendations to the Council on any matters relating to children within its jurisdiction;

(d)

provide information that may be required by the Council on any matter concerning children within the local limits of its jurisdiction; and

(e)

perform such other functions as the Council may delegate.

55.
Sub-County Children Advisory Committees.
(1)

The Council shall establish, in relation to every sub-county, sub-county children advisory committees, whose functions shall be to advice the County Children Advisory Committees on, and make recommendations for, the implementation of such child welfare programmes as may be necessary for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child in the respective sub-counties.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Council may establish advisory committees in other decentralized units of service delivery to aid and advise the Council in the discharge of its functions under this Act or any other written law.

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), the sub-county and other decentralized Children Committees shall—

(a)

facilitate information sharing and networking among key stakeholders in each sub-county and other decentralized units;

(b)

coordinate children matters and activities at the area of jurisdiction;

(c)

inspect, monitor and evaluate children facilities to ensure compliance with standards set by the Council;

(d)

make recommendations to the County Children Advisory Committee on any matters relating to children within the sub-county or area of jurisdiction;

(e)

provide information that may be required by the County Children Advisory Committee on any matters relating to children within the area of jurisdiction;

(f)

submit annual reports to the County Children Advisory Committee on matters relating to children within the area of jurisdiction;

(g)

promote awareness on children matters within the area of jurisdiction; and

(h)

mobilize resources to support the Council’s mandate at the sub-county level and area of jurisdiction.

(4)

Pursuant to subsection (1), the sub-county children advisory committees shall submit to the respective County Children Advisory Committees particulars of the recommended child welfare programmes in relation to the respective sub counties.

(5)

The County Children Advisory Committees shall consider the recommendations of the sub county children advisory committees and submit a report to the Chief Executive Officer.

(6)

Upon receipt of the any report submitted under this section, the Chief Executive Officer shall make recommendations to the Council, and the Council may approve or withhold its approval for the implementation of any of the proposed programs to which the report relates.

(7)

If the Council approves any of the recommended child welfare programmes, the Chief Executive Officer shall notify the relevant county welfare committee in writing of such approval

(8)

If the Council declines to approve the implementation of any proposed child welfare program recommended under this section, the Chief Executive Officer shall notify the relevant county children advisory committee, giving reasons for the decision of the Council.

PART V – FINANCIAL PROVISIONS OF THE COUNCIL
56.
Funds of the Council.
(1)

The funds of the Council shall consist of—

(a)

monies appropriated by Parliament for purposes of the Council;

(b)

grants, gifts, donations or other endowments given to the Council; and

(c)

such funds as may vest in or accrue to the Council in the performance of its functions under this Act or any other written law.

(2)

The receipts, earnings or accruals of the Council and the balances at the close of each financial year shall not be paid into the Consolidated Fund, but shall be retained for purposes of the Council under this Act.

57.
Annual estimates.
(1)

Before the commencement of each financial year, the Council shall cause to be prepared estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the Council for that year.

(2)

The annual estimates of the Council shall make provision for all the estimated expenditure of the Council for the financial year concerned.

(3)

The annual estimates shall be approved by the Council before commencement of the financial year to which they relate and shall be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for approval and after approval, the Council shall not increase annual estimates without the consent of the Cabinet Secretary.

(4)

No expenditure shall be incurred for the purposes of the Council except in accordance with the annual estimates approved under subsection (3), or in pursuance of an authorization by the Cabinet Secretary.

58.
Financial year of the Council.

The financial year of the Council shall be the period of twelve months ending on the thirtieth of June in each year.

59.
Accounts and Audit.
(1)

The Council shall cause to be kept all proper books and records of account of the income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the Council.

(2)

Within a period of three months after the end of each financial year, the Council shall submit to the Auditor-General the accounts of the Council in respect of that year together with a—

(a)

statement of the income and expenditure of the Council during that year; and

(b)

statement of the assets and liabilities of the Council on the last day of that financial year.

(3)

The annual accounts of the Council shall be prepared, audited and reported upon in accordance with the provisions of Articles 226 and 229 of the Constitution and the Public Audit Act, 2013 (No. 34 of 2013).

60.
Annual Reports of the Council.
(1)

The Council shall, in each financial year, prepare and submit to the Cabinet Secretary its annual report containing—

(a)

the financial statements of the Council;

(b)

a description of the activities of the Council;

(c)

recommendations on specific actions to be taken in, furtherance of the mandate of the Council;

(d)

recommendations on policy, legislative and administrative measures required to enhance the effective discharge of the functions of the council; and

(e)

any other relevant information relating to the functions and activities of the Council.

(2)

Without prejudice to subsection (1), the Council may prepare, publicise and submit to the Cabinet Secretary other periodic status reports on the institutions programmes and actions designed for the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of the child.

PART VI – ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENTS
61.
The Role of County governments.
(1)

In the discharge of the functions specified in Part II of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution, every county government shall—

(a)

provide or facilitate the provision of pre- primary education; and

(b)

provide or facilitate the provision of childcare facilities.

(2)

Every county government shall, in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary, develop policies and guidelines for the better carrying out of the functions specified in subsection (1).

62.
County government welfare schemes.

A county government may, either by itself or jointly with other county governments, and in consultation with the Council, establish welfare schemes to provide or facilitate the provision of childcare facilities and programmes for children including children with disabilities.

PART VII – CHILDREN’S INSTITUTIONS
63.
Establishment of children rescue centres.
(1)

The Cabinet Secretary shall, in consultation with the Council and by notice in the Gazette, establish children rescue centres in every county for the temporary care of children in need of care and protection pending placement in alternative care or other interventions under the Act.

(2)

A child shall be accommodated in a children rescue centre for a period not exceeding six months pending any of the interventions specified in subsection (1).

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Cabinet Secretary may, in consultation with the Council, by notice in the Gazette designate such children’s institutions to operate as children rescue centres as the Cabinet Secretary may consider appropriate.

(4)

The children’s institutions referred to in subsection (3) shall not include police stations, remand homes or rehabilitation schools.

(5)

The Cabinet Secretary shall make regulations to provide for the procedure and minimum standards to be adhered to before the approval of an application for designation as a children rescue centre under this section.

(6)

The Cabinet Secretary may collaborate with a county government for purposes of establishing a children rescue centre under subsection (1).

(7)

The placement of a child in a children rescue centre shall only be done in cases where no alternative care placement is for the time being available to the child.

(8)

A children rescue centre may admit a child to its care—

(a)

in an emergency situation and the child is referred to the centre by way of an interim care order or a care order; or

(b)

if the child is taken to the institution by an authorised officer or any person who has reasonable cause to believe that the child is in need of care and protection.

64.
Establishment of child protection units.
(1)

The Inspector-General shall establish child protection units in every police station for the purposes of providing, on a temporary basis, a safe and non-threatening environment for children in conflict with the law.

(2)

The Secretary may inspect children protection units established under subsection (1) to ascertain their compliance with the general standards prescribed for children’s institutions under this Act or any other written law.

(3)

The child protection units established under subsection (1) shall be desegregated by gender with clear sections for boys, girls and intersex children.

65.
Charitable Children’s Institutions.
(1)

No person shall register or operate a Charitable Children’s Institution except as provided in law.

(2)

The Council shall —

(a)

keep and maintain a register of all Charitable Children’s Institutions registered or approved by the Council prior to the commencement of this Act;

(b)

prescribe the minimum standards and conditions for operation of existing Charitable Children’s Institutions

(3)

An existing Charitable Children’s Institution shall ensure that every employee of the institution holds a valid certificate ascertaining that they have no pending criminal investigations;

(4)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Council—

(a)

shall inspect and assess whether the facilities and operations of existing Charitable Children’s Institution conform to the minimum standards and conditions set out in this Act and the regulations;

(b)

may deregister a non-compliant existing Charitable Children’s Institution.

(5)

Any person who—

(a)

operates an existing Charitable Children’s Institution contrary to the provisions of this Act;

(b)

admits a child to the care of an existing Charitable Children’s Institution which is not approved by the Council; or

(c)

implements or attempts to implement a children’s welfare programme, or to operate a Charitable Children’s Institution in the name of a Public Benefits Organisation, religious organisation or other association, whether incorporated or unincorporated, or otherwise in contravention of this subsection, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding five million shillings, or to both.

66.
Manager and Staff of Charitable Children’s Institution.
(1)

A person operating a Charitable Children’s Institution shall appoint or designate−

(a)

a duly qualified person as the manager of the institution; and

(b)

a sufficient number of staff or other appropriate personnel to assist in the administration of the institution.

(2)

A person is qualified for appointment or designation as manager of a Charitable Children’s Institution if the person has—

(a)

a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in Social Sciences from a university or other training institution recognized in Kenya;

(b)

a valid certificate issued by the relevant body certifying that there are no pending criminal investigations against the person or convictions for the offences under the Third Schedule; and

(c)

at least three years working experience in an institution involved in the field of social services.

67.
Overriding objectives of charitable children’s institutions.
(1)

The main objective for the establishment of charitable children’s institution shall be to provide family- based care for all children in accordance with the national policy for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

(2)

The placement of a child in a Charitable Children’s Institution shall be done as a last resort in cases where—

(a)

the child has no immediate access to parental care by the child’s parent, guardian or relative, if any;

(b)

no alternative family based placement, is for the time being available to the child; or

(c)

the usual place of abode or home is not conducive to the well-being of the child.

(3)

Unless there are compelling circumstances, a child shall not be placed in a charitable children’s institution for a period exceeding three years.

(4)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), a child below the age of three years shall not be placed in alternative care in an institution, except in compelling circumstances and, in any event, for a period not exceeding three months.

68.
Certain institutions not deemed to be Charitable Children’s Institutions.
(1)

For the purposes of this Act, a "Charitable Children Institution" does not include—

(a)

a rehabilitation school established by the Cabinet Secretary under section 78;

(b)

a children’s rescue centre established by the Cabinet Secretary under section 63;

(c)

a school within the meaning of the Basic Education Act (No. 14 of 2013);

(d)

a borstal institution;

(e)

any healthcare institution; or

(f)

a children’s day care centre, nursery or other similar establishment.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a charitable children’s institution shall, with the written approval of the Council, provide medical care, education or training for the children accommodated in the institution.

69.
Change of user of institutions.
(1)

Any registered Charitable Children’s Institution may change user of the institution by making an application to the Council for approval of the proposed change at least six months prior to the date the proposed change is to take effect.

(2)

On receipt of an application under subsection (1), the Council shall take appropriate steps to—

(a)

reintegrate the children placed in the institution with alternative families or guardians; or

(b)

transfer the children to another institution; and

(c)

investigate and ascertain the propriety of the proposed change of user and whether the application is made in good faith.

(3)

The Council shall not grant the application for change of user of a charitable children’s institution before taking the appropriate steps under subsection (2).

(4)

In taking the action specified in subsections (2) and (3), the Council shall be guided by the principle of the best interests of the child.

70.
Criteria for approval of programmes.
(1)

A Charitable Children’s Institution shall not administer any child welfare programme under this Act without the prior written approval of the Council.

(2)

The Council shall make regulations setting out the criteria for approval of child welfare programmes administered by charitable children’s institutions.

(3)

The Council shall keep and maintain a register of approved child welfare programs containing such information as the council may determine.

71.
Placement of children in a charitable children’s institution.
(1)

A Charitable Children’s Institution may admit a child to its care only if—

(a)

in an emergency situation, the child is referred to the institution by way of an interim care order or a care order; or

(b)

the child is taken to the institution by an authorised officer or any person who has reasonable cause to believe that the child is in need of care and protection.

(2)

Where a child is admitted to a Charitable Children’s Institution in accordance with subsection (1), the Charitable Children’s Institution shall—

(a)

within twenty-four hours, inform the Secretary that it has admitted a child; and

(b)

institute care proceedings under section 153 of this Act within seven days of the admission.

(3)

A Charitable Children’s Institution that receives a child into its care shall institute the Court proceedings referred to in subsection (2) and produce the child before the Court without delay unless—

(a)

the parent or guardian of the child applies to the Secretary for the release to them of the child;

(b)

the child is held in accordance with section 145; or

(c)

it is not in the best interest of the child to be placed with the Charitable Children’s Institution.

(4)

A Charitable Children’s Institution shall not admit a child into its care without a Court committal order specifying, among other things, the maximum period for which the child shall be accommodated in the institution.

(5)

In determining whether or not to issue a committal order under subsection (4), the Court shall admit and consider any report made by a children’s officer in respect of the child.

(6)

A person shall not remove or transfer a child from a Charitable Children’s Institution to another institution without leave of the Court.

72.
Secretary to monitor the well- being of children.
(1)

The Secretary shall establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate the effective periodic monitoring of the wellbeing of every child admitted into a charitable children’s institution, until—

(a)

the child is discharged therefrom; or

(b)

the expiry of a care order made in respect of the child.

(2)

The Secretary shall facilitate periodic visits to Charitable Children’s Institutions by officers duly authorized by the Secretary for the purpose of interviewing and ascertaining the wellbeing of every child admitted into such institutions.

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the authorised officers shall, in particular, ascertain the steps taken by the Charitable Children’s Institution to place the children accommodated therein in family-based alternative care within the period of three years prescribed in section 67(3).

73.
Inspection of charitable children’s institutions.
(1)

The Secretary shall authorise an authorised officer to inspect a charitable children’s institution or any other premises which he or she has cause to believe are being used to accommodate children who are in need of care and protection.

(2)

Any authorised officer acting pursuant to subsection (1) may at all reasonable times enter a charitable children’s institution, after producing, if requested to do so, a duly authenticated document showing that he or she is so authorised to do so and shall, in particular—

(a)

interview any child in the institution or premises, and, in so doing, ensure confidentiality;

(b)

require the production of an annual report and any other records required to be kept in accordance with the regulations made under section 89;

(c)

inspect the conditions and facilities provided by the institution or managers of the premises; and

(d)

prepare and submit a report outlining his or her findings and recommendations.

(3)

The obstruction or refusal by any person to allow any authorised officer referred to in subsection (2) to enter a charitable children’s institution or the premises referred to in subsection (1) for the purpose of inspecting such institution or premises, or interviewing any person in respect of such institution or premises, shall be sufficient ground to suspect that a child or children accommodated in the institution or premises is or are being neglected or abused, and that such children are in need of alternative care and protection.

(4)

Upon receipt of an inspection report, the Secretary may, in addition to taking such other remedial measures as may be prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary, require a charitable children’s institution to appoint a new management and institute appropriate remedial measures:

Provided that the Secretary may, in consultation with the relevant County Children Advisory Committee, appoint a manager to manage the institution for a period not exceeding two months in order to institute appropriate remedial measures.

(5)

The functions and powers of the authorised officer appointed under this section shall be supplemental to, and not in derogation from the functions and powers conferred on an inspection committee appointed under section 88.

(6)

Any person who, without lawful justification, refuses to allow an authorised officer referred to in subsection (2) to enter a charitable children’s institution or such premises as are mentioned in subsection (1), or who interferes in any way with the work of such officer, or fails to produce any report or records, or conceals any facility within such institution or premises, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding one million shillings, or to both.

74.
Duty to notify the Council.
(1)

A duly registered public benefit organisation or charitable children’s institution which intends to implement a child welfare programme shall notify the Council and provide full information on—

(a)

the mode of operation of the proposed programme; and

(b)

the specific objects of the programme.

(2)

The Chief Executive Officer shall prepare and submit to the Council a report containing the information relating to the proposed child welfare programme referred to in subsection (1), and the Council may approve or withhold its approval of such programme or part of it as the Council may determine, taking into account the best interests of children.

(3)

Where the Council withholds approval of a proposed child welfare programme or any part of it, any person who implements the whole or any unauthorized part of the proposed programme commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

(4)

If after conviction under subsection (3), the person continues to implement the proposed program without the approval of the Council, the person shall, in addition to the penalty prescribed in subsection (3), be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand shillings for each day during which the offending implementation continues.

75.
Review of child welfare programmes.
(1)

The County Children Advisory Committee shall, at the end of twelve months from the date of approval of a Child Welfare Programme, and thereafter annually, review the programme and advise the Council on whether the programme is operating according to the standards prescribed by the Council.

(2)

If, on receipt of the report of the County Children Advisory Committee given pursuant to subsection (1), the Council forms the view that the programme under review does not meet all or any of the standards prescribed by the Council, the Council shall either—

(a)

direct that the relevant institution by which the program is implemented takes such steps as the Chief Executive Officer may specify in writing to facilitate compliance with the standards prescribed by the Council under this Act; or

(b)

recommend that the Child Welfare Program in question be deregistered and terminated on such conditions as the Council may determine.

(3)

Subject to subsection (2)(b), the Council may direct that—

(a)

the programme be terminated with immediate effect; and

(b)

all children admitted to the relevant institution be transferred to, and placed under alternative care of, any fit person or institution.

(4)

If the Council directs that a child welfare program be deregistered, the certificate of approval issued under this Act in respect of the programme under review shall stand revoked.

(5)

Any person who continues to implement a deregistered child welfare program in respect of which the Council has directed to be terminated under this section commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings, or to both.

76.
Deregistration of Child welfare programme.
(1)

Without prejudice to the generality of section 73, the Council may, on the recommendation of the County Children Advisory Committee, deregister and direct the termination of a Child Welfare Programme in the respective county on the grounds that—

(a)

the programme is unfit for the care, protection and control of children;

(b)

the children in respect of whom the program is administered are likely to suffer prejudice, or that the program is likely to occasion harm to such children; or

(c)

the institution by which the program is administered has contravened any of the regulations made under this Act or any other written law.

(2)

The Council shall not deregister any child welfare program unless and until it accords the institution by which the program is administered fair opportunity to be heard in the matter in accordance with the principals of fair administrative action prescribed in Article 47 of the Constitution:

Provided that the Council shall give written notice of the proposed deregistration and invite the programme to make its response within thirty days from the date of such notice.

(3)

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Council made under this section may appeal to the Cabinet Secretary with a further appeal to the High Court.

(4)

If a child welfare program is deregistered, the Secretary shall, subject to any directions of the Cabinet Secretary, take such remedial measures as may be necessary to protect the children accommodated in the programme.

(5)

Upon the deregistration of a child welfare program in accordance with this Act, the Secretary shall take such steps as may be necessary to—

(a)

reintegrate the children with their respective families or guardians;

(b)

transfer the children to another registered institution; or

(c)

remove any child or children from the institution;

(d)

ensure the immediate closure of the institution;

(e)

take such necessary steps, including prosecution, to secure appropriate penal sanctions against the manager in accordance with section 75(5); or

(f)

take such other action as may be necessary for the protection of the children.

(6)

Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting an institution’s right to apply for change of user in accordance with section 69.

(7)

The Cabinet Secretary shall make regulations to provide for the procedure for reintegration and transfer of Children under this Part.

77.
Establishment of children’s remand homes.
(1)

The Cabinet Secretary may, by notice in the Gazette, establish such children’s remand homes as the Cabinet Secretary considers necessary for the accommodation, care and protection of children in conflict with the law, and the Cabinet Secretary shall facilitate the provision in such homes suitable facilities for children with special needs.

(2)

The purpose of remand homes is to hold children in conflict with the law as a matter of last resort for their care and protection during trial before a verdict or placement.

(3)

A remand home shall have separate sections for children of different sexes, age categories, needs and risks.

(4)

The manager of any public institution, other than a prison, may enter into an agreement for the use of that institution or any part thereof as a children’s remand home on such terms as may be agreed between the manager and the Secretary.

78.
Establishment of rehabilitation schools.
(1)

The Cabinet Secretary may, by notice in the Gazette, establish such number of rehabilitation schools as the Cabinet Secretary may consider necessary to provide rehabilitation, accommodation, education, training and facilities for the care and protection of children.

(2)

Subject to subsection (3), any person may, with the approval of the Cabinet Secretary, establish and manage a private institution suitable for−

(a)

the reception, education and vocational training of children; and

(b)

the rehabilitation, care and protection of children.

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), every rehabilitation school shall be suitably designed and equipped to implement such educational and vocational training programmes as may be approved by the Cabinet Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to basic education and vocational training.

(4)

The manager of any institution which is suitable for the reception, maintenance, training and rehabilitation of children ordered to be sent to a rehabilitation school under this Act may apply to the Cabinet Secretary to approve the institution for that purpose, and the Cabinet Secretary may, by notice in the Gazette, declare the institution to be a rehabilitation school and issue a certificate of approval to the manager.

(5)

Where the Secretary is dissatisfied with the condition or management of a rehabilitation school, the Secretary may—

(a)

take such disciplinary action against the manager as the Cabinet Secretary may determine; or

(b)

direct the manager by notice in writing to show cause why the certificate of approval issued in accordance with subsection (3) should not be withdrawn.

(6)

If the manager fails to comply with the conditions in the notice referred to in subsection (5)(b) within the period specified in the notice—

(a)

the notice shall take immediate effect, and the certificate of approval issued under this section shall stand withdrawn;

(b)

the Secretary may, by notice in writing to the manager, prohibit further admission of children to the school for such period as may be specified in the notice.

(7)

If the Secretary is satisfied on evidence that the continuation of a rehabilitation school is unnecessary—

(a)

the Secretary may give to the manager not less than six months’ notice in writing of his or her intention to withdraw the certificate of approval; and

(b)

on the expiration of the notice, the certificate of approval shall stand withdrawn, and the school shall cease to be a rehabilitation school within the meaning of this Act.

(8)

Any person aggrieved by the decision to deregister a rehabilitation school under subsection (6) and (7) may appeal to the High Court within thirty days

(9)

The manager of a rehabilitation school may, after giving not less than six months’ notice in writing to the Secretary of his intention so to do, surrender the certificate of approval of the school, and, on the expiration of the notice, unless the notice is previously withdrawn, the certificate of approval shall be deemed to have been surrendered and the rehabilitation school shall cease to be approved.

(10)

A child shall not be received into a rehabilitation school under this Act after notice has been given of intention to withdraw or surrender the certificate of approval:

Provided that the obligations of the manager with respect to children under his care at the date of the notice shall continue until the withdrawal or surrender of the certificate of approval takes effect.

(11)

The Cabinet Secretary may, on the advice of the Secretary, by notice in the Gazette, publicize the withdrawal or surrender of any certificate of approval issued under this section.

79.
Rehabilitation schools to establish separate sections.
(1)

There shall be separate rehabilitation school classified for children in conflict with the law in accordance with the needs and risks of different sexes and age categories.

(2)

Every rehabilitation school shall have—

(a)

separate sections for children of different sex;

(b)

separate sections for children of different age categories;

(c)

separate sections for children in conflict with the law;

(d)

separate sections for various risk categories; and

(e)

a counsellor or psychologist;

(3)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2)(c), regard shall be had to the specific needs and risks involved in relation to the different categories of children in conflict with the law.

80.
Managers to admit children into rehabilitation school.

The manager of a rehabilitation school shall admit into the school every child who is duly placed or transferred to the school or otherwise committed to the manager’s care, unless—

(a)

the school is an institution for persons of a different sex and age from that of the child whom it is proposed to place or transfer;

(b)

the manager shows to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it is not in the best interest of the children to admit any more children into the school, having regard to the condition of the school;

(c)

the manager shows to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it is not in the best interest of the child that the child be committed to the manager’s care.

81.
Leave of absence from school.

The manager of a rehabilitation school may, with the authority of the Secretary, grant leave of absence to any child accommodated in that rehabilitation school for such period and on such conditions as the manager may consider fit, and may at any time terminate such leave and direct the child to return to the school.

82.
Revocation of children’s committal order.
(1)

If at any time during the period of a child’s placement at a rehabilitation school the Secretary is satisfied that such child should not remain in the school under a committal order for the time being in force, the Secretary may apply to the Children’s Court for revocation of the Committal Order.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Court may at any time or on the application of any person, revoke an order committing a child to a rehabilitation school, having regard to the matters contained in the relevant records of the Court which made the order together with all relevant records of any court which may have previously considered any application made under this section.

(3)

Notwithstanding anything in this Act, an order of the Court committing a child to a rehabilitation school shall not remain in force for a period exceeding three years and in any case not beyond the date on which the child attains the age of eighteen years.

(4)

Unless the Court otherwise orders on application for an order under subsections (2) or (3), the manager of the rehabilitation school at which the child is placed shall facilitate the production of the child before the Court.

83.
Transfers and supervision on release.
(1)

The Secretary may through a court order, at any time cause a child to be transferred from one rehabilitation school to another, but the period of his or her rehabilitative care shall not be increased by reason of such transfer.

(2)

A child committed to a rehabilitation school shall, after the expiration of the prescribed period of his or her stay, be under the supervision of a probation officer, as ordered by the court for a period of two years.

84.
Absconding children and children of difficult character.
(1)

Where the Secretary observes that a child committed to a rehabilitation school persistently absconds, is of difficult character, or is exercising inappropriate influence on the other children in the school, the Secretary may apply to the Court having geographical jurisdiction over the school for an order—

(a)

in the case of a child below the age of sixteen years, directing that the period of committal be extended by a period not exceeding six months;

(b)

in the case of a child above the age of sixteen years, directing that the child be transferred to a borstal institution; or

(c)

directing that the child be provided with appropriate medical treatment or professional counselling services, in any of the following cases—

(i) cases where the child’s conduct is attributable to drug abuse;
(ii) cases where the child is of unsound mind; or
(iii) cases where the child is suffering from a mental illness.
(2)

In any proceedings under this section, the parents, guardian or any other person who has parental responsibility over the child, shall be notified of, and be heard in, the proceedings, unless the Court is satisfied that such persons cannot be found, or cannot reasonably be expected to attend at the proceedings.

(3)

The expenses incurred in committing a child under this section shall be borne by the State.

(4)

In any case where the period of committal is extended, or where the child is committed to a borstal institution, the child shall be provided with appropriate professional assistance, including legal services in accordance with the law relating to legal aid.

85.
Removal to health institution.
(1)

Where a child detained in a remand home or rehabilitation school is seriously ill and in need of medical care, the manager shall facilitate the removal of the child to an appropriate health facility on the advice of a psychologist, medical officer or medical practitioner.

(2)

If the medical officer in charge of a health institution is of the considered view that the health of a child removed to a hospital under the provisions of this section no longer requires treatment, the medical officer shall notify the manager of the remand home or rehabilitation school from which the child was referred, and the manager shall thereupon facilitate the return of the child to the home or school.

(3)

The medical officer in charge of the health institution at which the child is hospitalized shall take such reasonable precautions as may be necessary to prevent the child from escaping:

Provided that nothing shall be done under the authority of this section which in the opinion of the medical officer in charge of the health institution is likely to be prejudicial to the health or wellbeing of the child concerned.

86.
Authority to confine a child.
(1)

The order committing a child to custody in a children’s remand home or ordering him to be sent to a rehabilitation school shall be sufficient authority for his confinement in that place in accordance with the tenure thereof, or in a health institution in accordance with section 85.

(2)

A child shall be deemed to be in lawful custody where the child is confined to or is being conveyed to or from a children’s remand home or a rehabilitation school to or from a health institution, as the case may be.

87.
Supervision of institutions.
(1)

The Secretary shall be responsible for the supervision of all rescue centres, child protection centres, charitable children’s institutions, remand homes and rehabilitation schools.

(2)

In the discharge of the Secretary’s supervisory responsibilities under this section, the Secretary shall inspect or cause to be inspected the schools, homes and centres referred to in subsection (1) for the purpose of ascertaining the conditions of the centres and the wellbeing of the children placed in such centres.

(3)

Upon inspection of the facilities referred to in subsections (1) and (2), the Secretary shall take appropriate steps to facilitate the improvement of—

(a)

the conditions of the institutions to which this section relates; and

(b)

the wellbeing of the children therein placed.

(4)

For the purposes of this section, the Secretary shall facilitate placement of a child under the custody of a rescue centre to appropriate alternative family care at the earliest opportunity:

Provided that no child shall be placed in a child rescue centre for a period exceeding six months.

88.
Inspection committees.
(1)

The Cabinet Secretary shall appoint an inspection committee to inspect any rescue centre, child protection centre, charitable children’s institution, remand home or rehabilitation school or a borstal institution.

(2)

The committee appointed under subsection (1) shall be comprised of not more than five persons, and shall exercise and perform, subject to any directions given by the Cabinet Secretary.

(3)

The functions of the inspection committee shall be to—

(a)

inspect rehabilitation schools, children’s remand homes, charitable children’s institutions, child rescue centres, child protection centres and other child care facilities;

(b)

interview any child in the premises or institution, and, in so doing, ensure confidentiality;

(c)

interview the manager and other members of staff in the institution;

(d)

inspect the conditions and facilities provided by the institution or manager of the premises; and

(e)

make recommendations on necessary improvements, remedial measures or closure of the institution or premises, or relocation of children housed in the institution or premises.

(4)

Subject to subsection (3), the Secretary shall, within three months of the receipt from the Cabinet Secretary of any directions relating to the recommendations made under this section, report to the Cabinet Secretary specifying the steps taken by the Secretary to implement the recommendations of the inspection committee.

(5)

The recommendations referred to in this section may include closure, deregistration and revocation of a certificate of approval.

(6)

The Cabinet Secretary shall prescribe regulations for composition and conduct of an inspection committee.

89.
Regulations.

The Cabinet Secretary may, on the recommendation of the Council, make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Part and, in particular, such regulations shall make provision for—

(a)

the establishment, administration and supervision of children institutions;

(b)

the requirements and procedure for approval of children’s welfare programmes;

(c)

the management of remand homes, rehabilitation schools, child rescue centres, child protection centres, and charitable children’s institutions;

(d)

requirements as to the accommodation, staff and equipment to be provided in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(e)

academic qualifications for persons to be employed in children’s institutions

(f)

the training and remuneration of persons employed in children’s remand homes, rehabilitation schools, child rescue centres, and child protection centres;

(g)

the criteria to be applied to limit the number of children who may be accommodated in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(h)

the education and training of children in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(i)

religious instruction to children in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(j)

the access to health care by children in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(k)

special care for children with disabilities, chronic ailments or other special needs in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(l)

requirements as to the keeping of records and giving of notices in respect of children received in the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(m)

the conduct of reviews under section 78;

(n)

the conduct of inspections of the institutions referred to in paragraph (a);

(o)

corrective measures which may be imposed by the Secretary after inspection of the institutions referred to in paragraph (a), and penalties for non-compliance therewith;

(p)

appeals against decisions made under this Part;

(q)

foster care applications under section 173;

(r)

the minimum standards to be adhered to before the approval of an application to establish a charitable children’s institution under section 65; and

(s)

the conduct of diversion under Part XV.

PART VIII – CHILDREN’S COURTS
90.
Designation of the Children’s Court.
(1)

The Chief Justice may, by notice in the Gazette, designate children’s courts in such counties and sub counties as the Chief Justice may determine.

(2)

The Chief Justice may, by notice in the gazette, appoint a magistrate to preside over cases involving children in respect of any area of the country.

(3)

There shall be a Registrar and such number of Deputy Registrars of the Court as may be appointed in accordance with the Judicial Service Act (No. 1 of 2011).

(4)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the children’s Court shall have civil and criminal jurisdiction.

(5)

Nothing in this section shall preclude the High Court from entertaining an appeal or other reference relating to the diversion or trial of a child in conflict with the law:

Provided that in exercise of its jurisdiction under this Act, the Court shall comply with the provisions of this Act.

91.
Jurisdiction of the Children’s Court.
(1)

Without prejudice to the generality of section 90(1), the children’s Court shall have jurisdiction to—

(a)

conduct civil proceedings on matters set out under Parts III, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XIII, XIV and XV of this Act;

(b)

hear any charge against a child, other than a charge of murder;

(c)

hear a charge against any person accused of an offence under this Act;

(d)

hear a charge in any case in which a person is accused of an offence against a child or in which a child is the victim or complainant; and

(e)

exercise any other jurisdiction conferred by this Act or any other written law.

(2)

Subject to any rules or directions made or issued by the Chief Justice, where under any other written law any matter involving a child is required to be heard by a Court other than a Children’s Court, that other Court shall, for the purposes of that matter, be deemed to be a Children’s Court, and shall be bound by the provisions of this Act.

(3)

Any reference to a subordinate court of any class in the First Schedule to the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 75) shall include a Children’s Court.

(4)

The Magistrate in charge of the Courts station or his or her representative shall preside over all cases involving children in respect of the Court’s jurisdiction.

(5)

Where, in the course of any proceedings in a children’s Court, it appears to the Court that the person charged, or to whom the proceedings relate, is above the age of eighteen years, the Court shall transfer the proceedings to a Court other than a children’s Court to conduct the proceedings under any other relevant law.

(6)

Where, in the course of any proceedings in any Court other than a Children's Court, it appears to the Court that the person charged or to whom the proceedings relate, is under the age of eighteen years, the Court shall transfer the proceedings to a Children's Court to conduct the proceedings under this Act:

Provided that no transfer shall be necessary in any case where the magistrate concerned is duly appointed in accordance with section 90 to preside over matters relating to children.

(7)

Where any conviction or sentence made or passed by a Court other than a Children's Court is appealed against, or is brought before the High Court for confirmation or revision, and it appears that the person convicted was at the time of commission of the offence under the age of eighteen years, the High Court shall have power to substitute for the conviction a finding of guilt in accordance with section 221.

(8)

A Children’s Court may, either on its own motion or on the application by any person, visit any children’s institution and assess its condition and the circumstances under which the children are admitted, and on assessment, make any order as the Court may determine in the best interest of the children.

92.
Friendly environment of Children’s Court.

A Children’s Court shall have a setting that is friendly to the children who are before it.

93.
Sitting of Children’s Court.
(1)

A Children’s Court shall sit at such times and in such locations as the Chief Justice may, by notice in the Gazette, determine.

(2)

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a children’s Court shall not sit at the same time, or in the same Courtroom at which the sittings of the Court, other than the sittings of the children’s Court, are held:

Provided that any Magistrates court may be converted into a Children court for the purpose of conducting proceedings under this Act.

(3)

The Courtroom or premises at which the sittings of the children’s Court are held shall be suitably designated and reasonably equipped to facilitate—

(a)

the provision of the individual needs of children, having regard to their state of health, age and gender;

(b)

the provision of such services as may be required to meet the special needs of children in need of care, including children with disabilities; and

(c)

the highest attainable standards of hygiene, sanitation and comfort.

(4)

No person other than the following may attend any proceedings or be present at any sitting of a Children’s Court—

(a)

the judicial officer, members and other officers of the Court;

(b)

a children’s officer duly appointed by the Secretary to assist the children’s Court in its proceedings;

(c)

parents or guardians of the child involved in the proceedings;

(d)

any person directly or indirectly involved in the matter before the Court, including complainants, witnesses and any professional required to submit any report on a child to whom the proceedings relate;

(e)

a duly accredited journalist or duly registered media professional; or

(f)

such other persons as the Court may authorize to be present.

(5)

Nothing in this section shall prevent the Court from holding its sittings in camera to the exclusion of any person mentioned in paragraphs (c), (d) and (e).

94.
Power to make orders relating to privacy in proceedings.

Where in any proceedings relating to an offence against or by a child, of a sexual nature, a person who, in the opinion of the Court, is under the age of eighteen years is called as a witness, the Court shall direct that such witness be protected by one or more of the following measures—

(a)

allowing such witness to give evidence under the protective cover of a witness protection box;

(b)

directing that the witness shall give evidence through an intermediary pursuant to Article 50(7) of the Constitution;

(c)

directing that the proceedings do not take place in open Court;

(d)

prohibiting the publication of the identity of the complainant or of the complainant’s family, including publication of any information that may lead to the identification of the complainant or the complainant’s family;

(e)

any other measure which the Court deems just and appropriate; or

(f)

any other safeguards provided under the Witness Protection Act, 2006 (No. 16 of 2006) or any other written law.

95.
General principles with regard to proceedings in Children’s Court.
(1)

Subject to subsection (4), where the Court is considering whether or not to make an order under this Act with respect to a child, the Court shall not make any order unless it considers that doing so is in the best interest of the child.

(2)

Where the Court is considering whether or not to make an order under subsection (1), it shall have particular regard to—

(a)

the ascertainable feelings and wishes of the child concerned having regard to the child’s age and understanding;

(b)

the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs and, in particular, where the child has a disability or chronic illness or where the child is intersex, the ability of any person or institution to provide any special care or medical attention which may be required for the wellbeing of the child;

(c)

the likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances;

(d)

the child’s age, sex, religious persuasion and cultural background;

(e)

any harm the child may have suffered or is at the risk of suffering;

(f)

the ability of the parent, or any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, to provide for and care for the child;

(g)

the customs and practices of the community to which the child belongs and the need to ensure that the child easily integrates while not subjected to harmful cultural practices;

(h)

the child’s exposure to, or use of, drugs or other psychotropic substances and, in particular, whether the child is addicted to the same, and the ability of any person or institution to provide any special care or medical attention which may be required for the child; and

(i)

the powers which the Court has under this Act or any other written law.

(3)

In any proceedings in which an issue arises as to the upbringing of a child, the Court shall have regard to the general principle that any delay in determining the question is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare of the child.

(4)

The Court may, if it considers it necessary for the proper determination of any matter in issue before it, either of its own motion or on application by any person, summon any expert witness whom it considers appropriate to provide assistance to the Court, and the expenses of any such witness, shall be assessed by the Court and such expenses shall be a charge on the Judiciary Fund.

(5)

In relation to any proceedings concerning a child, whether instituted under this Act or under any other written law, a person shall not publish or reveal in any publication or report, including any law report, any of the following matters—

(a)

a child’s name, identity, home or last place of residence or school;

(b)

the particulars of the child’s parents or relatives; or

(c)

any photograph, depiction or caricature of the child.

(6)

The Registrar of the Children’s Court shall cause to be marked all records of the Court concerning a child so as to indicate that such records relate to matters involving a child, and such records shall only be available to any person without disclosure of any of the particulars specified in subsection (5).

(7)

For the avoidance of doubt, the name or other particulars of the child shall be marked to indicate that they concern a child, and access may be restricted and available only without particulars as specified in subsection (5).

(8)

Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsections (5) and (6) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both, and, in the case of a body corporate, a fine of not less than one million shillings.<