Young adolescents are most vulnerable to sexual violence. Most minors are inadequately informed of what qualifies as an act of sexual violence and some may experience SV but will not report the same. Equality Effect in collaboration with International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRHK) is implementing the 160 Girls Virtual Justice Club (VJC) project in Kwale and Kilifi Counties since the year 2022 to create legal awareness on the ideal procedures for defilement reporting among children. This scale-up follows previous Justice Club interventions namely the 2018/2019 conventional justice clubs and the 2020 Virtual Justice Clubs in Mombasa County.
This project is based on a 2013 landmark ruling where on May 27, 2013, the High Court of Kenya ruled that the police treatment of the “160 Girls” petitioners’ claims violated their human rights, and that the police treatment of defilement had created a climate of impunity for defilement, which rendered them indirectly responsible for the harms inflicted by the perpetrators. This intervention is anchored on the premise that an increased awareness of the expectations for defilement case handling among children will empower them to protect their rights and those of others in their community.
It is also cognizant of the opportunities for technology in educating the children of this generation. The VJC is composed of online educative, and interactive content on sexual violence rights for young adolescents that is uploaded onto a tablet. Another approach to this intervention was the distribution of newsletters with participation from the children enrolled in the program, their siblings, teachers, parents, and police.
Approximately 675 students have directly benefited from learning their SRH rights between the years 2022 and 2023 (75 children per school in 9 schools).