Early Sexual Exposure And The Rights Of Children In Kibera Slums, Nairobi County
This study aimed at finding out how early sexual exposure affects rights and welfare of children in Kibera slums. In addition, the study sought to examine the socio-economic factors and negative effects of early sexual exposure among children. It also aimed at exploring various strategies utilized by parents in Kibera to protect the right and welfare of children from early sexual exposure. The study applied both quantitative and qualitative method of data collection and analysis. Stratified random sampling and purposive sampling methods were used to select respondents of the sampled group. The respondents included children of equal gender aged 10-17 years, parents and key informants who were sampled for interviews. Semi structured questionnaire was used to collect data and findings analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. This study revealed that children in Kibera are highly exposed to pornographic materials, sex itself and sexual harassment. The study found out that the key factors were most attributed to peer -pressure, poverty, and mass media. Teenage pregnancy, school drop-out, disease contraction and addiction to drugs were revealed as the resultant effects of early sexual exposure. Parents lack knowledge on what to do on sexual matters to their children in cases of sexual harassment or defilement. Authorities were mentioned for taking bribes and laxity while parents were accused of covering up evidence and resolving to handle matters locally. Despite the existence of various child protection instruments, children were largely unaware of the laws protecting them while parents and key informants only mentioned the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The study concluded that children rights in Kibera are highly abused as a result of early sexual exposure. It recommends intensified child rights protection awareness as a collective responsibility, Government and other programmers to focus on mentorship and economic programs targeting this population. There is need to conduct further studies on impact of pornography on children development in informal settlements.