A two-day training to sharpen the importance of the Alternative Justice System (AJS) to champion children’s rights took place in Lodwar.
The training targeted children, lands, and social protection officers drawn from the government and civil society.
Save the Children Organization supported the training in collaboration with the County’s Department of Lands.
The recently launched AJS stems from and relies on community-led negotiation and mediation efforts as a means of resolving land-related conflicts to provide solutions, as compared to the long and tedious judicial process that involves courts.
The County Solicitor, Ruth Emanikor, said that the mainstreaming of children’s concerns would further raise the profile of the AJS approach and make its case rulings more inclusive and of great impact.
Adding that the integration of the children’s concerns and girl-child-specific approaches in AJS would create an avenue to reduce case backlog in the courts.
Solicitor Emanikor emphasized the need for further training to ensure that the concerns are carefully handled.
She expressed optimism that support from Save the Children and other development partners would help offer support so that girl-child-specific concerns are brought to the limelight and resolved amicably.
This has already attracted a strong network of civil society groups that are interested in the protection of the vulnerable groups in the County.
Turkana AJS chairperson, Yusuf Aremon, said that the focus on girl-child rights was a welcome move as they fall in the category of the most at risk of suffering from land-related injustices.
Aremon added that the training had come at an opportune time when the AJS committee was working on its standard operation standards (SOPs) on handling of cases related to land rights and vulnerabilities imposed by disability status, gender, age, and economic conditions.
The trainees were exposed to court proceedings and their differences with the AJS approach, detection and handling of girl-child issues, and referral pathways to the AJS table for determination.
The training comes a month after the AJS Committee successfully determined a land dispute case involving two parties, thereby creating a lot of hope to the members of the public that more cases will be determined amicably in the coming days.
John Lotiir (Administrator of the Lodwar Law Court, James Obewa (Turkana Central Children’s Officer) Lucas Lokusi (Chair, PWD), and Dorcas Lolem (Turkana Central Lands Administrator) were also present in the training.