11 missing children were found locked in a house in Soweto-Kayole awaiting prayers to remove evil curses, demonic spirits and afflictions. The children have been away from school for 4 days and not been in contact with their parents, only aware of an Imam ‘Maalim’ who was to pray for them and a lady named Sophia who brought them there.
A tip off call to the area children’s officer Mr. Wycliffe Anami when a young man of 15 years was reported as missing led the search party to the locked house that had the other children in confinement.
The parents of some of the children later reported that their children are unwell but Police have advised them to seek medical help at the hospitals. OCPD Kayole has assured that the investigations shall include the children, the parents and the other parties involved.
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Radicalization is fast becoming one of the most acute and pressing safeguarding and child protection issues of the whole century (NSPCC, 2016).
Most parents, guardians, caregivers and teachers are unsure of what constitutes the potential indicators of radicalization, and how and to whom such concerns should be reported. It is apparent that radicalization as a safeguarding and child protection issue has not been afforded a level of focus adequate and proportionate to the risk posed, and that other issues, namely child sexual exploitation, and in this case the denial of access to proper medical attention for children facing psychological problems remain the primary concern in safeguarding contexts.
THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2018 – A Bill for An act of Parliament to amend the Prevention of Terrorism Act; and for connected purposes proposes the following guidelines in handling radicalization of children:
Duties and responsibilities of institution – administrators:
- Implement appropriate measures to ensure students are not drawn into radicalization;
- keep an up to date record of all students;
- ensure that all staff in the institution are well trained to recognize vulnerable students likely to be drawn into radicalization;
- implement appropriate intervention measures, including activities to reduce the risk of students being drawn into radicalization;
- and collaborate with the County Commissioner in establishing and implementing a tracking system to monitor and hinder the dissemination of inappropriate.
Duties and Responsibilities of Parents & Guardians:
- monitor the activities of the students after school hours and on weekends;
- immediately report to the Inspector General of Police, the County Education Board and the school administrator a case of a missing student where there is reason to believe that such student is likely to be involved in terrorist acts or to have been radicalized;
- familiarize themselves with the intervention measures recommended by the school if a student is deemed to be in danger of being radicalized;
- and collaborate with the school, religious leaders and the county leadership in building strong support networks for students to counter radicalization.
Reporting a missing child. A parent or guardian whose child fails to report to school and whose whereabouts are unknown shall:
- Conduct a search for the child;
- immediately notify the institution administrator and the Inspector General of Police of the missing student;
- and collaborate with the relevant authorities in the search for the child.
An institution administrator who determines that a student has not reported to school shall:
- Inform the parent or guardian of the student of the fact and determine from the parent the whereabouts of the student;
- immediately inform the Inspector General of Police and the County Education Board of the missing student;
- and collaborate with the parent, the Inspector General of Police in tracing the student.
Where a child who is reported missing under this section is found and it is determined that the child has undergone the process of radicalization, the parent or guardian in collaboration with the County Education Board and the Inspector General of Police shall, in addition to such action as they may consider necessary:
- Rehabilitate the child;
- carry out investigation to determine if any other child within the respective school has been subjected to radicalization or been subjected to extremist material or information;
- and where necessary put in place measures to curb access to extremist material or information within the respective school.