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Gender ministry develops parenting guidelines to curb children abuses

By Owen Wagabaza

Added 15th May 2019 01:15 PM

According to research done by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, 35% of girls and 17% of boys below the age of 18 are sexually abused every year.

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Mwesigwa, the New vision deputy editor called for a multisectoral approach if we are to put a hold on children’s right abuses. PHOTOS: Owen Wagabaza

According to research done by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, 35% of girls and 17% of boys below the age of 18 are sexually abused every year.

CHILD ABUSE
 
Violation of children’s rights is drastically increasing every year due to the absence of stronger laws to reprimand those caught in the act.
 
According to research done by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, 35% of girls and 17% of boys below the age of 18 are sexually abused every year.
 
Still, 58% of girls and 59% of boys below the age of 18 are physically abused while 35% of both boys and girls are abused emotionally.
 
The findings were revealed during a dialogue on the role of media in child protection organized by Save Street Children Uganda, a non-government organisation.   
 
Lydia Najjemba Wasula, the focal person for ending violence against children in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development revealed that these abuses are carried out at school, home and in the neighborhood with over 60% of these abuses done at home. 
 
“Studies show that children are mostly abused by parents, caretakers, and relatives at home. We, therefore, need to keenly watch how we treat our children and how they are treated in our absence,” Najjemba said.
 
“Among the strategies we have come with is develop a parenting guideline to remind us of our roles as parents and guardians,” she said. 
 
Bernard Atiku, the Ayivu county legislator, and the Chairperson, Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Children Affairs concurred with the findings, calling for more stringent measures against acts that endanger the lives of children. 
 
Atiku added, that parliament is spearheading a bill on Prevention and Prohibition of human sacrifice.

 Kyateeka, the commissioner in charge of children affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development 

“The bill will help in differentiating murder, manslaughter and human sacrifice. Many a time, human sacrifice culprits have escaped justice because of inadequate evidence, this law will make it easier for those people to be brought to justice,” Atiku said.

 
Media hailed
 
The media in Uganda was hailed for being a key player in exposing children’s rights abuses, before being challenged to give equal prominence to children’s rights abuses as it gives to political and other issues.  
 
“The media is doing a lot when it comes to matters concerning children, but why is it that an important issue concerning children say in Kamuli may get less attention from our media than a political issue from the same region?” Innocent Byaruhanga, the executive director SASCU wondered.
 
Mondo Kyateeka, the commissioner in charge of children affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development called on journalists to highlight the issues and dialogue these issues with the lawmakers to have an impact.
 
He further called on media houses not to tire in reporting about children’s rights abuses. “When it comes to matters concerning violence against children, the media shouldn't sit on the fence, many newsrooms look at stories of child abuse as too often. Until we are on top of the evil, we should not stop shouting and talking about it," Kyateka said
 
Cathy Mwesigwa, the New vision deputy editor called for a multisectoral approach if we are to put a hold on children’s rights abuses.
 
“There is a need for multi-sectoral partnerships and engagements among the civil society, parliament, media, police and the community if we are to fully confront the challenge of children’s rights abuses,” Mwesigwa said.

 

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