The CRADLE was founded primarily by a group of Christian Lawyers to respond to the need for provision of juvenile justice following a research and baseline survey in 1997 on the provision of justice to children in Kenya. The research showed the absence of institutional mechanisms to respond to this issue. The CRADLE was born to respond to this need.
The CRADLE was officially launched on 7th December 1998, on the eve of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showing a deliberate choice of a rights -based approach in its work. The launch was held at the United States Information Service by Judge Arline Pacht, the then Chairperson of the International Women Judges Association. The launch was also presided over by Honourable Shem Ochuodho, then Member of Parliament, Rangwe Constituency. The CRADLE institutionalized in 1999 by setting up a pilot and the first legal aid clinic of its kind for children. The CRADLE was originally legally housed by the Women’s Resource Centre and physically by the Coalition on Violence Against Women. It was later registered as a trust and has since operated independently. The CRADLE continues protecting and promoting the rights of the child to date and the programs it runs have expanded significantly.