Mercy, 12 years old, is kept locked up at a children’s remand home. Her only ‘crime’ is not having any parents.
“When my mother and father died, my grandmother couldn’t afford to take care of me. She said I should go to my uncle’s place in Nairobi, but he wasn’t there. A neighbour said he had moved house. I walked around town searching, but when I still hadn’t found him by 10 pm, I went to the police. They didn’t know where he was either. Then they locked me up in a children’s remand home – a prison for children.
Although Mercy and her friends at the children’s remand home were locked up on Global Vote Day, they still managed to make it a special day full of games and children’s rights.
“After a month, I was sent to this children’s remand home with four others, because we come from this area. I’ve been here for a month. I don’t understand why I’m not allowed to go back to my grandmother’s house now that I’m back in this area. Instead, I’ve been locked up here. I think it’s strange that children who haven’t committed a crime, haven’t done anything wrong, can be locked up with criminals. Nobody has explained why this has happened. It feels like it goes against my rights, like the adults are violating my rights. That’s why it feels so important for me to vote for someone who fights for my rights and other children’s rights today. It feels just like the candidates we read about in The Globe are fighting for me personally, because they want children all over the world to have good lives. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. But this morning, a child rights lawyer came to the Global Vote and said that she’d help us to get home. I really hope it’s true. When I grow up I want to be like her. A lawyer who fights for the rights of the child.”