Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome, on October 28,2020, received a Runner-up Award as UN Kenya Person of The Year 2020. Lady Justice Koome was recognized for her advocacy for the rights of children in conflict with the law as well as child victims.
In her acceptance speech, Lady Justice Koome said that she was grateful that it was not only those ordinary mwanachi on the streets who had noticed her work for children but also the UN had noticed that she spoke and worked for children.
“In accepting this nomination, I do so to celebrate and affirm that our children are indeed a gift from God, our bridge to the future and we owe them a duty of care. All of us stand in a position of local parents for a child be it a child in the streets, in a remand home, in schools and everywhere if a child is not in a good place, it is because of failure of a system in the society. This is the message I spread that our “children our collective responsibility”. Said Justice Koome.
Judge Koome chaired the NCAJ Special Task Force on Children matters that has highlighted the plight of children in the Justice system. The Task Force mobilized and coordinated other stakeholders and reviewed the Children’s Act to align it with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, it developed practice directions to deal with children during Covid 19.
The Task force sourced for laptops which were supplied to Children’s remand homes to enable them conduct virtue hearing of cases without having to transport children.
The Award was introduced in 2002 as the collective UN family of agencies honour to an individual and/or an institution for succeeding to bring to public notice significant issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals which are sustainable and serve as an inspiration to all Kenyans, and in keeping with the ideals of the UN.