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Parliament gets names of dons involved in sexual harassment

By Vicky Wandawa

Added 9th March 2019 02:43 PM

The names of the alleged perpetrators will be availed to the relevant government institutions for investigation and prosecution, upon the adoption of the report or on request by parliament.

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The names of the alleged perpetrators will be availed to the relevant government institutions for investigation and prosecution, upon the adoption of the report or on request by parliament.

Parliamentary speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.Photo/File

A parliamentary committee on the inquiry into allegations of sexual violence in institutions of learning in Uganda has received names of the notorious perpetuators.

According to a report from the nine member committee that was selected by parliament to investigate the allegations, the names were compiled following an interface with students and administrators from a total of 33 institutions of learning, comprising 11 primary schools, 11 secondary schools, two primary teachers' colleges and nine universities.

The names of the alleged perpetrators will be availed to the relevant government institutions for investigation and prosecution, upon the adoption of the report or on request by parliament.

The decision to institute the committee was preceded by a motion presented by Anna Adeke Ebaju, the national female youth representative seeking a resolution of parliament to inquire into allegations of sexual violence in institutions of learning in Uganda.

The motion was presented against a backdrop of numerous and repeated media reports of gross acts of sexual violence in institutions of learning at all levels.

“On Tuesday August 14, 2018, parliamentary speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, constituted a select committee to conduct the inquiry. Some of the committee's terms of reference were to study the causes and extent of the vice of sexual violence in institutions of learning in the country and its negative effects on the population, as well as measures that have been put in place to create awareness on sexual violence in institutions of learning,” reads the report.

In the execution of the Inquiry, the committee employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect and analyze the information received from various stakeholders.

The committee found out that sexual violence is widespread in virtually all the institutions of learning visited.

“However, the actual prevalence of the vice in the country is difficult to determine as many of the cases are never reported. 3970 of the respondents interviewed from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions said that they had personally experienced some form of sexual violence or harassment or knew of classmates and peers who had experienced it,” reads the report.

The committee noted that while administrative mechanisms for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints exist in institutions of learning, they are too weak to effectively detect and respond to incidents of sexual violence.

“For example, senior women teachers who are entrusted with reporting cases in schools lack a clear understanding of their roles and are not adequately skilled to deal with cases involving teachers,” reads the report.

The committee recommended that ministry of education and sports fast tracks guidelines for streamlining the position of the senior women or man teachers in the school structure not later than June, 2019 and should prioritize their training to bolster their capacity to detect report and respond incidents of sexual violence.

Furthermore, the committee found that while government has committed through various policies to provide medical, legal, psychosocial services and other types of service to victims of sexual and gender-based violence, the services are limited and inaccessible to victims due to several factors including; limited knowledge of the existing services, absence of medical services in some health facilities, I ask of follow up, uncoordinated, lengthy and y bureaucratic processes, inadequate psychosocial services and absence of legal support services.

The committee also stressed need for an integrated support service provision model to improve linkages between service providers, protect victims from secondary victimization and ease access to support services by victims of sexual violence.

Government should also fast track the establishment of recovery centers for victims of sexual violence across the country effective the financial gear 2020/2021.

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