We just delivered a critical oral intervention at the United Nations (U.N.) on behalf of Kenyan girls being forced into horrific child marriages.
Moments ago Grégor Puppinck, the Executive Director of our affiliate with consultative status a the U.N. – the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) – delivered the following oral intervention before the Thirty-Second Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva:
The European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ) thanks the rapporteur for the report [on violence against women] and wishes to draw your attention to the fate of the girls in Kenya’s Samburu tribe.
In this tribe, girls as young as six years old are routinely victims of forced child marriages, subjecting them to female genital mutilation (FGM), rape, and slavery. These practices gravely harm children, yet perpetrators continue committing these crimes with impunity.
We bring this submission to the Council with first-hand knowledge. Last summer, our affiliate organization in Kenya, the East African Centre for Law & Justice (EACLJ), rescued girls aged 10 and 13 from such a fate. One of the girls had undergone FGM and was living with a 53 year old local chief.
Yet, as we rescue girls, we have witnessed that many of the perpetrators are allowed to walk free. The EACLJ is engaged in legal battles in court demanding that no matter what their position or status within the community, those who rape, abuse, and enslave Samburu girls be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Under international law and human rights norms, Kenya has an obligation to protect young girls from forced marriages and to ensure that no forced and child marriages have any legal effect.
Therefore, the ECLJ calls the Rapporteur and the HRC to call on Kenya to honor its international commitments and prosecute all perpetrators of these barbaric practices.
This oral presentation comes on the heels of our legal submission at the U.N. just a few weeks ago.
It is a significant step in the right direction. Shining a light on this evil on the world’s stage is necessary to get international pressure on Kenya to do the right thing and follow both Kenyan and international law.
In addition to helping save young girls, educating communities to proactively stop this practice, and bringing the perpetrators to justice in courts, we will continue speaking out against this injustice around the world.
We are headed back to court in Kenya soon to hold the perpetrators of this evil accountable. Our attorneys in Kenya have appeared in court multiple times fighting delays and obstruction tactics. We will not relent until justice is served.
Stand with us. Stand with young girls in Kenya and demand an end to these barbaric atrocities. Sign out petition (below and) at BeHeardProject.com.