By Vivian Agaba
A local NGO has launched a project to fight against child rights abuse and it is targeting areas of Nakawa Division, Kira Town Council and Mukono Municipality.
The three-year project was launched by The African Network for the Prevention and Protection of Children against Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Uganda as a measure to restrain the problem that has persistently increased in these areas for the last three years.
The project aims at mobilizing and sensitizing local communities, parents, pupils and teachers on the rights of children and will work to create a safe and secure environment for children within homes, schools and communities.
Anslem Wandega, Executive director, ANPPCAN says over the years, great Kampala has been characterized by huge numbers of abuse and neglect cases while children continue battling abuses like sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse and child labour among others.
“A statistical comparison of cases we handled from our districts of operation countrywide indicate that for the past three years, Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso districts have continued to receive the highest cases of child abuse, violence and exploitation,” said Wandega.
Children from Naguru Infant Primary School entertain guests at the launch of the Creating a Safe and Secure Environment for all Children project. Photo by Vivian Agaba
Wandega attributes the increase to the realities of globalization and urbanization, life on streets, alcoholism especially in slum areas, poor parenting skills, children being trafficked and displaced in unsafe places and some have been sexually abused while others end up in prostitution.
“Through this project, we shall be going to local communities, schools, and families sensitizing the public about the dangers of child abuses, giving sessions on positive parenting and how to fight against child abuse. We shall also empower children through information giving on how to report cases of child abuse in case someone is going through abuse or knows a person being abused,” Wandega added.
He was speaking during the launch of the project held at the Naguru Infant Primary school in Kampala on Wednesday.
The projected themed ‘Creating a safer Uganda for all children’ will be sponsored by ERIKS in partnership with ANPPCAN-Uganda.
James Kaboggooza Ssembatya, the assistant commissioner for children affairs, ministry of gender, labour and social development said despite government’s efforts to curb child abuse problem, the vice continues to increase even in areas of greater Kampala.
He however said government through the gender ministry is determined to strengthen child protection systems so that perpetrators are brought to book.
Benjamin Kalumba Sebuluba, the mayor for Nakawa Division called upon parents to take on their responsibilities, look after their children rather than simply participating in producing them and abandoning them to be cared for by the world.
A recent survey carried by ANPPCAN in Nakawa Division, Kira Town Council, and Mukono municipality shows that over 1,899 child neglect and 998 defilement cases were recorded and handled by the Police and Probation and Social Welfare units in 2013.