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East African bishops issue child protection handbook

NAIROBI (CNS): The Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa, known as AMECEA, introduced a handbook titled, Child Safeguarding— Standards and Guidelines: A Catholic Guide for Policy Development, in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 29.
The handbook is meant assist Church leaders develop standards to safeguard the safety of children and its release followed a May 28 to 30 child safety seminar attended by bishops, clergy, religious men and women and laypeople working in various ministries. 
George Thuku, AMECEA’s child protection officer, said the handbook is expected to be used by each national bishops’ conference throughout the region as they establish their own safeguarding policies. 
“Each of the national episcopal conferences should ensure that it has officially launched its national policy on the issue, child safeguarding,” Thuku said. 
Father Emmanuel Chimombo, director of AMECEA’s Pastoral Department, explained that the handbook sets the minimum requirements for individual bishops’ conference to follow. 
“The document is not everything, but has (the) minimum standards and guidelines that the Church in the region can effectively use to tackle matters pertaining to the child safeguarding and protection,” he said.

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