AMECEA develop guidelines for protection of children

By Staff Reporter

ASSOCIATION Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) has launched the Child Protection Safeguarding Standards to guide protection of children against abuse.

And speaking during the launch, AMECEA Bishop Chair for Pastoral, Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama assured the catholic faithful particularly the young ones in the AMECEA region that the Church would do within its power to protect them from any forms of abuse.

“The Church in AMECEA region is committed to the protection of the rights to the survival and development of every child from the time of inception to its maturity.  Through this launch of the Child’s Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines, the Church has firmly communicated a strong resolve to join the Universal Church in establishing fair and just systems and structures that listen to the voice of children and persons of goodwill who voluntarily raise complaints and concerns regarding the abuse of minors,” Archbishop Chama said.

Archbishop Chama noted that the Church has recognised the reality that African children faced numerous challenges that include physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

“Though highly treasured and valued, children still face numerous challenges particularly in Africa; high mortality rates, hunger, disease and the negative impact of conflicts and calamities, both natural and man-made. All these continue to impact negatively the quality of life of children. Included among these challenges is the saddening scourge of child abuse happening in our communities,” Archbishop Chama acknowledged.

And speaking at the launch a 10-year girl, Nicole requested the Church in Africa to listen to the cry of the African child. “I am not asking for anything extraordinary. I am only asking for basic necessities of life, that is to be nurtured and protected from any harm within and outside the family,” she said.

And the AMECEA Children’s Desk Coordinator, George Thuku encouraged participants to become ambassadors and share the message to all the faithful on the need to protect young ones.

“The task to protect children should not be left to the clergy or bishops or the religious alone. This is for every Christian starting from our family to parish levels,” Thuku said.

The Child Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines was launched on May 29, 2019 during the workshop on child protection that took place at the JJ McCarthy Centre in Nairobi, Kenya from May 28 to June 1, 2019 with participants representing all but one of Episcopal Conferences in the AMECEA region.

It is expected that the standards and guidelines launched will assist each conference create good child protection policies and systems to protect the minors and vulnerable persons.