UN AWARDS JUSTICE KOOME FOR DEFENDING CHILDREN RIGHTS.

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BY SAM ALFAN.

Court of Appeal lady Justice Martha Koome has received a Runner-up Award as United Nations Kenya Person of The Year 2020.

The appellate judge was recognized for her advocacy for the rights of children in conflict with the law as well as child victims.

In her acceptance speech Justice Koome said that she was grateful that it was not only those ordinary mwanachi on the streets who had noticed her work for children but also the UN had noticed that she spoke and worked for children.

“In accepting this nomination, I do so to celebrate and affirm that our children are indeed a gift from God, our bridge to the future and we owe them a duty of care. All of us stand in a position of local parents for a child in the streets, in a remand home, in schools and everywhere,”she said.

Koome added that “If a child is not in a good place, it is because of failure of a system in the society. This is the message I spread that our children our collective responsibility.”

The Judge has been chairing the NCAJ Special Task Force on Children matters that has highlighted the plight of children in the Justice system.

The Task Force mobilized and coordinated other stakeholders and reviewed the Children’s Act to align it with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, it developed practice directions to deal with children during Covid 19 pandemic.

The Task force sourced for laptops which were supplied to Children’s remand homes to enable them conduct virtue hearing of cases without having to transport children in court.

The Award was introduced in 2002 as the collective UN family of agencies honour to an individual and/or an institution for succeeding to bring to public notice significant issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals which are sustainable and serve as an inspiration to all Kenyans, and in keeping with the ideals of the UN.

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