By Vivian Agaba
Despite several interventions by government and other child rights advocacy organizations to end child rights abuse in the country, a recent survey indicates that greater Kampala is leading in child rights abuses.
A survey carried out by the African Network for the Prevention and Protection of Children Against Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN)-Uganda in Nakawa Division, Kira Town Council and Municipality shows that over 1,899 child neglect and 998 defilement cases were recorded and handled by the Police and probation and social welfare in 2013.
“The state of child’s rights abuse in these areas is alarming especially in slum areas. Some of the driving factors that sustain abuse in these districts include; realities of globalization and urbanization, life on the streets, poverty and the erosion of the social fabric that played a centre role in ensuring protection and proper growth of children in the cultural context,” said Anslem Wandega.
Wandega, the Executive director ANPPCAN-Uganda was speaking at the launch of a three-year program held at Naguru Infant Primary school in Kampala yesterday.
The program organized under the theme” Creating a safer Uganda for all children” is being sponsored by ERIKS in collaboration with ANPPCAN.
It is targeting areas of Nakawa Division, Kira Town Council and Mukono municipality where cases of child rights abuse are rampant.
Wandega said a statistical comparison of cases of child abuse handled by ANPPCAN in over 16 districts of operation indicates that for the past three years, Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso districts have continued to receive the highest cases of child abuse, violence and exploitation.
James Kaboggooza Ssembatya, the assistant commissioner for children Affairs, ministry of Gender, Labour and Social development said cases of child rights abuse in these areas are persistent and attributes the problem to poverty, drug abuse, domestic violence and alcoholism.
“These areas have got persistent cases of child abuse from reports we receive about child rights abuse. This is because of many reasons including social norms that keep us backward and ignorant about respect for child rights,” said Kaboggooza.
Nakawa Mayor, Benjamin Kalumba Ssebuliba advising parents to bond with their children through communication in order to empower them with important information. PHOTO/ Vivian Agaba
Adding that, it is bad for children to grow in violent environments because when they grow, they also become violent in their homes, communities and cycles of violence do not end if children continue to be abused.
He called upon religious leaders and all stakeholders at national, community, sub-county levels and civil society organizations to participate fully in the fight against child rights abuse.
Benjamin Kalumba Sebuluba, the mayor for Nakawa Division who pledged his support towards the program, hailed ANPPCAN and its development partners for giving priority to the division because the area is faced with a problem of increasing cases of child rights abuse that urgently needs to be addressed.
He called upon parents to take care of their children and provide all necessary needs other than being active in giving birth to these children but when it comes to caring for them (children), parents neglect them to the world to take of them.
The project will work to create a safe and secure environment for children within homes, schools and communities reaching out to 7000 children.
It will also treat 1000 victims of abuse, exploitation and Violence.