By Henry Sekanjako
As Uganda joins the rest of African countries to celebrate the day of the African child today, Government has been challenged to invest in sectors that will promote and safeguard the plight children.
According to Empower a child Uganda, an international children’s organization, many children across the country have been deprived of their rights to education, nutrition, health, water, shelter, protection among other needs that children need for proper growth.
“Issues like quality education, poverty, child labour, unending cases of defilement, rape are continuing to deprive our children of their rights and welfare as a child which is embedded in Article 11 of the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child,” said Benon Katumwa the operations manager Empower a child.
The child rights activists condemned what they called continued abusive acts on children who have been deprived of their human dignity.
They urged government to double its efforts in investing in the lives of children, the country’s future leaders.
“When a child’s body has been abused, it doesn’t only affect her physical nature but this also affects her spiritual and emotional nature,” noted Katumwa.
Suzan Thomas, the Empower a child US board member urged the government to revise its universal primary education program to ensure a firm educational foundation for the children.
Thomas also appealed to different institutions both private and public to change the lives of children in their communities by ensuring that they attain an education.
“We would like to reach out to thousands of children in Uganda and Africa at large, give them an opportunity to go to school and get a quality education but we need much more of nationals taking charge of their communities,” said Thomas.
A recent survey by ministry of gender labour and social development, in conjunction with UNICEF, indicated that around 3.7million children below five years of age live in poverty.
It also indicated that 2.2 million children below five years suffer from stunting.
Day of the African child: Gov’t asked to invest in children’s lives