Impact of stigma and discrimination on the rights of school children aged 4-8 years living with HIV/AIDS in Kikuyu Division, Kenya
HIV / AIDS stigma and discrimination has remained for many decades an impediment to the realization and enjoyment of child's rights across the world. According to United Nations convention on the Rights of the child (1991) non discrimination is where children enjoy all rights. The background of the study present stigma and discrimination related to HIV / AIDS and its influence on the rights to education, health care, play and freedom of association and protection from economic exploitation of children living with HIV/AIDS. The study sought to investigate whether stigma and discrimination infringed on these rights. The research objectives included, evaluate stigma and discrimination and infringement on right to education and investigate the extent to which stigma and discrimination infringes on right to health care among others. Research questions included, in which ways had stigma and discrimination infringed on child's right to education and to what extent had stigma and discrimination infringed on right to health care. The literature review depicted isolation, rejection ,name-calling and physical abuse and how these vices infringed on the rights of children living with HIV / AIDS. The research design used was survey which is an attempt to collect data from members of a population in order to determine the current status of that population with respect to one or more variables. To ensure equal representation, simple random sampling was done. Tools used to solicit information included questionnaires for administrators and teachers, interview schedule for caregivers, storytelling and observation schedule for children. Validity of the instruments was appraised by the supervisors and through pretesting while the reliability was tested through pilot study. The study established that children living with HIV / AIDS suffer isolation, rejection, name calling and physical abuse. Right to education was infringed through isolation and name-calling, play and association was infringed through isolation, rejection name-calling and physical abuse. Healthcare was infringed through creation of special areas and lack of funds. Children living with HIV/AIDS need protection to realize and enjoy rights like any other children. The government should lay clear policy and laws to enhance the realization and enjoyment of the child's rights. Adults living with children living with HIV/AIDS should help children enjoy their rights. Organisations taking care of children living with HIV / AIDS should be aggressive to ensure enjoyment of rights by all children.