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Caning Ban is Backed

The Nation (Nairobi), 21 April 2001

Unicef has supported the caning ban in schools.

The Government should ensure it is upheld, country director Nicholas Alipui said.

The move was in line with the global convention on the rights of children.

Education Minister Kalonzo Musyoka outlawed caning last week.

Kenya has heitherto been widely criticised for allowing caning.

At the world conference on education in Dakar last year, Kenya was cited as having institutionalised violence and promoted child abuse.

Dr Alipui was speaking on Thursday as he presented vouchers to 15 children from the Mama Ngina Children's Home to enable them to attend a computer course at the Development Communications Institute, Nairobi. They will pay Sh5,000 each to train.

The Unicef boss said the organisation aimed at mobilising support for the efforts to protect children's rights.

"Government leaders, the private sector, the civil society and the children themselves have been asked to play a role here."

He added: "By hosting this camp and by offering scholarship places, the Institute has demonstrated it's leadership within the movement.

"Once on-line, the children will be able to log onto our global web-site where they will be able to express their views on the issues that they think are the most urgent,".

The 10 issues identified by Unicef as priorities in the global movement, Dr Alipui observed, include:

Leave no child out

Put children first

Care for every child

Fight HIV/Aids

Stop harming and exploiting children

Listen to children

Educate every child

Protect children from war

Protect the earth for children and

Fight Poverty: Invest in children

The Unicef boss added:"These 10 demands are the rallying call for the "Say Yes for Children" campaign."

Starting next Thursday, Dr Alipui observed, everyone will be asked to add their voices to the call for a better world for all children either via registers, ballots or the internet.

He added: "When the time comes, be sure to cast your vote to 'Say Yes for Children".

Copyright 2001 The Nation. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).