Birthrights to be protected

The National, Thursday July 21st, 2016

Children’s inheritance of their parents’ properties will be protected by law, Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC) Secretary Dr Eric Kwa says.
He told The National that the law would be reformed to protect children’s rights to their parents’ assets and properties.
“Currently, when we get registered as citizens, we have to use our biological parents’ name. In a marriage situation under custom or statutory, if the father has a relationship outside of marriage, the children are considered not his. That is the culture,” Kwa said.
“We are trying to reform the laws to ensure that those children must also have rights to their father’s assets. We have to find a way to reform the law to cater for children in this situation.
“We might have issues with mothers who might say they have their lawful children and that the other children are not part of their family and shouldn’t have access to assets or properties of her husband.
“All we are saying is, yes. That’s her lawful husband but these children are also his and they must also have access to their father’s benefits,” Kwa said.
He said CLRC had an agreement with Unicef which helped to review and bring into law the new Lukautim Pikinini Act 2015.
“We have not completed the regulation, its awaiting clearance from the State Solicitor’s Office and we hope to get it across to cabinet this month or next month,” Kwa said.
“There’s got to be some consequential amendment. Unicef has offered to assist so we are currently working out a budget of about K200,000 to review the Child Adoption Act, the Wills Administration Act and the Civil Registration Act.
Kwa said with funding from UN Women, they were working on the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Legislation to comply with an international treaty.
“We’ve been working with the Government agencies since 2013 until UN Women came to our aid.”