By John Semakula and John Masaba
Child rights activists in Uganda have asked government to enact tougher laws and punishments, including one that would legalize castration of defilers.
The activists made the remarks on Friday during the 20th anniversary celebration of the African Network for Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN), Uganda Chapter at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The Assistant Commissioner for Youth in the Ministry of Gender, Mondo Kyateka asked MPs on the Parliamentary Children’s Forum who attended the function to urgently table a private members’ bill with castration as a punishment.
“I have not seen either a bull mounting a calf or a cock on a chick. Why then should human being defile children?” Mondo wondered.
“Chopping off the sex organs of defilers will pump sense in some people. It will give them a lesson that children need to be protected, loved and nurtured.”
President Yoweri Museveni has also recently echoed a similar message for tough punishments for defilers and people who commit other capital punishments.
The President called for a referendum to decide on denying such people bail while government’s spokesperson Mary Karoro Okurut recently advocated for a death sentence for convicted defilers.
Several MPs including Milton Muwuma of Kiugulu County in Iganga who represented the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga attended the function.
Henry Kyebambe, the board chairman of ANPPCAN, Uganda noted that cases of child abuse in Uganda were becoming more complicated, considering their nature and numbers and appealed for unity among Ugandans in fighting them.
“When you see some of these cases, you wonder what’s wrong with human being. We need prayers in this struggle to help change the lives of the people who violate children’s rights.”
The activists commended the government of Ugandan for coming up with some of the best policies regarding children rights on the continent.
“With the good policies already on paper, now we need to focus more on implementation,” said Deo Iga, a renowned child right’s activist and one of the founding members of ANPPCAN.
Kadaga said she had taken note of all the issues raised by the activists and promised to promote the progressive ideas geared towards protecting children’s rights within government.
ANPPCAN, Uganda executive director Anslem Wandega said in the last 20 years, the organization has achieved a lot for children including supporting 35,897 child abuse cases across the country.
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