By Norman Katende
The gender ministry has partnered with the different children’s NGOs to help reduce cases of child abuse in the country by easing the reporting and counselling mechanism.
With over 274,000 cases reported across the country, statics show that child neglect, physical and sex abuse make up the highest percentages of child abuse cases at a respective 48%, 20% and 19% of the reported cases, which are believed to be only a quarter of the actual abuse cases.
However, reports show that less than 30% of the cases being reported.
Stella Ayo-Odongo of the Uganda Child Right NGO Network said that the introduction of a toll free line of 116 will help increase reporting of these cases and also offer counselling services to both children and adults.
“The child helpline has been operational and in 2014 we handed it over to government as a state facility. It will help us reach remote communities specifically in Karamoja region, Kalangala and Bwaise to enable access to information,” said Ayoo.
The services will ensure that children that are at a risk of abuse or want confidence get a chance to report and also get counselled.
“In the long run, we are looking at utilising this facility to help reduce or end child abuse. The future will now focus on prevention and elimination.”
The campaign, which was launched at Kawempe but is expected to go across the country, is targeting the slum areas where children are mostly abused sexually and it is in partnership with Uganda Youth Development Link, who are always working with the disadvantaged children.
According to UYDEL project coordinator Jacqueline Nassaka, the campaign will help sensitise local leaders, community and police not only to get advice but also emphasize reporting of the abuses so that they get justice.
We are aiming at responding to the child protection issues which has been a big problem mostly in the slums; we believe that this will help save the Ugandan child.