Pint-sized kids’ court has small dock, teddy bears, bright pic­tures of flow­ers

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Judiciary -

A spe­cial chil­dren’s court has opened in Malindi, com­plete with play area, smaller fur­ni­ture, a lit­tle dock, teddy bears and paint­ings of chil­dren and flow­ers. The mod­ern, fourth-floor court opened on Wed­nes­day is de­signed to make chil­dren feel com­fort­able and speak freely. The docks are small to suit child wit­nesses — and judges’ benches will not tower over them. “We have set up an en­vi­ron­ment to en­able chil­dren to feel com­fort­ably and speak freely,” Malindi res­i­dent judge Said Chitem­bwe said. He said the chil­dren’s court will han­dle cases from Mom­basa, Kil­ifi, Lamu and Tana River coun­ties. Pre­vi­ously, chil­dren’s cases were heard in courts de­signed for adults. Chitem­bwe said the cus­tomer care desk will also help new­com­ers ac­cess courts eas­ily. Present dur­ing the open­ing was district chil­dren’s of­fi­cer Sam Korir among oth­ers.

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