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DIFFERENCES IN THE TREATMENT OF BOYS AND GIRLS

The Kenyan criminal justice system mainly focuses on male offenders largely because of the disproportionate representation of males in arrest, trial, and posttrial procedures. According to official data from 2010 to 2014, 79.4 % of cases reported to the police in 2014 concerned male offenders (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2015). Female offenders constituted only 6.4 %> (2085) of the total number (32,686) of persons convicted of crimes in 2014. Most police and prison facilities in the country are designed to accommodate male offenders. More specifically related to juvenile justice, only two of 11 rehabilitation schools and only one of the four probation hostels in the country are dedicated to house or cater to girls in the juvenile justice system. Although there are gender desks, which are staffed by specially trained officers at a limited number of police stations in the country, there are no special provisions for female offenders. The only relevant provision is included in the Constitution Article 53(1) (f) (ii) to the effect that in the event of children’s detention they should be separated from adults and that such detention should be with regard to their age and sex. This would require the separate detention of girls from boys or males.

In 2013 about 13 %> (4852) of police officers were female (of the total number of 37,293) (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2015). With the limited number and capacity of female-specific facilities, there is a real risk of female offenders being mixed with adults, including males, when deprived of their liberty. This enhances the risk of girls being victims of sexual or gender-based violations and abuses during arrest and detention.

 
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