TOP
Thursday,January 17,2019 09:37 AM
  • Home
  • News
  • Govt to revise children's policy to include prisoners' children

Govt to revise children's policy to include prisoners' children

By Petride Mudoola

Added 30th November 2018 12:14 PM

Mondo Kyateka, the commissioner Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development noted that the policy, in its current state does not cater for children with a parent in prison which calls for immediate intervention.

Meal 703x422

Inmates of Luzira women’s prison serve their children a meal. Photos by Petride Mudoola

Mondo Kyateka, the commissioner Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development noted that the policy, in its current state does not cater for children with a parent in prison which calls for immediate intervention.

The Government set to revise the Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s (OVC) policy of 2006, replacing it with National Comprehensive Children’s policy to ensure it caters for children with a parent in prison.

Mondo Kyateka, the commissioner Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development noted that the policy, in its current state does not cater for children with a parent in prison which calls for immediate intervention. 

Mondo made this remarks while paying a courtesy visit to Wells of Hope Junior School, which is located in Kyajjinja, Semuto in Nakaseke District on Monday. The Non-Government Organization caters for children with a parent in prison.

 death row inmate hugs his daughter while bidding her farewell A death row inmate hugs his daughter while bidding her farewell

 
“I commend Wells of Hope for bringing hope to the children of the incarcerated because when the father or mother commits a crime, the child is not part of it. For that reason, the child should not be equally punished or left unattended to,” Mondo said.
  
However, Mondo could not establish the number of children with a parent in prison because there are arrests and discharges on daily basis.

“Often times it’s the fathers who commit crimes leading to their incarceration and so often the mother is dependent on the father as a bread winner. And once the father is out of the equation, then there is a problem,” Mondo observed.

 ondo yateka the ommissioner outh and hildren ffairs at the inistry of ender abour and ocial evelopment  plants  a tree as  children with  a parent in prison look on his was during his visit to ells of ope unior chool that looks after prisoners children Mondo Kyateka, the Commissioner Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development plants a tree as children with a parent in prison look on. This was during his visit to Wells of Hope Junior School that looks after prisoners’ children

 
He noted that this is one of the reasons why government is revising the OVC policy and one of the target groups they are looking at are children with a parent in prison. The policy will reflect on how to look after these children, redeem them and provide them with services,

“And one of the things we have done in the area of Education is to ensure there is UPE and USE to ensure the children go to school without having to pay school fees as well as provide other basic requirements,” Mondo said.

He said that the policy is comprehensive in terms of income support and how to strengthen house hold income for different families. When people are self-sustaining, even when one is incarcerated and there is a gap felt, the remaining person is capable of looking after the children.

  
Mondo however, cautioned parents against producing children out of competition but through proper planning. “It is important for people to think about how capable they are. Before you think of producing, think about your economic status in terms of looking after an extra child.”
 
A survey conducted by Wells of Hope Ministries indicates that over 6,000 children of prisoners do not attend school despite government’s effort towards implementing education for all programmes.

Ellen Eva Ssubi, the Executive Director Wells of Hope Ministries commended government for the implementation of UPE and USE programmes. However, she noted that majority of the children of prisoners have not benefited from these programmes.

“More emphasis has been put on orphans and vulnerable children leaving out those whose parents are detained, hence they end up suffering for crimes they did not commit, worse still drop out of school,” Ssubi said.

She appealed to government to recognise children whose parents were incarcerated, through its criminal justice system to cater for them.

With a population of 142 children with a parent in prison, Wells of Hope Ministries accommodates 91 pupils in Junior School, 37 in High School; Makerere High School Migade has 8 while 6 enrolled for vocational training.  The children range between 4-19 years.

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles