Shielding Vulnerable Adults

CMC defines vulnerable adult as any individual who is 18 years and above and is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse and neglect. Such an individual may be in need of social care or legal protection against significant harm or exploitation.

Many developed countries recognize that one of the greatest impacts of globalization is the diminished sense of responsibility towards vulnerable adults. Consequently, they have developed policies, initiated social care programmes and enhanced awareness campaigns that seek to help and support vulnerable adults to live full lives, free from abuse and neglect. This includes preventing abuse, minimising risk without taking control away from individuals, and responding proportionately if abuse or neglect has occurred.

The Constitution of Kenya (2010) contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights. Article 43 guarantees all Kenyans their economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights. It asserts the “right for every person…to social security and binds the State to provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependants.” This right is closely linked to other social protection rights, including the right to healthcare, human dignity, reasonable working conditions, and access to justice. Article 21 establishes the progressive realization of social and economic rights and obligates the State to “observe, respect, protect, promote, and fulfil the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights.”  

The concept of ‘vulnerable adult’ is not clearly defined in the Laws of Kenya and  issues of bullying, neglect, sexual, physical, emotional, domestic and financial abuse are not given enough prominence beyond the headlines that they make. It is for this reason that CMC seek to use a combination of media strategies that creates awareness beyond the policy frameworks. Our strategies include the use of narratives to re-establish and promote a culture of community responsibility and accountability to this group’s well-being.

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We envision a world where all children, disadvantaged youth and vulnerable adults enjoy full community protection from abuse and exploitation.