16 June 2017

Africa: Uganda Celebrates Day of African Child

Photo: Cissy Makumbi/Daily Monitor
South Sudan refugees Children eating in Uganda.

Kampala — As Uganda joins the rest of Africa to commemorate the day of African child today, the police have urged parents to work hard and meet their children's needs.

Ms Irene Adibaa, a senior officer attached to the Child and Family Protection Unit of the police at the Naguru headquarters explained last evening that majority of parents want free services for their children, which free promises have landed their children in problems including being trafficked or abused sexually.

"Parents should desist from accepting promises for free things made by some unscrupulous people such as bursaries for their children's education," officer Adibaa warned parents last evening in Kampala during a dialogue organized by a social justice organization, Center for Health, Human Rights and Development.

"Most of these people who promise free education and other things to our children have ended up abusing them including trafficking them for their selfish motives," the Child and Family Protection Officer added.

The officer further revealed that issues of child neglect, missing children, abandoned children are the major cases they receive that are committed against children.

She added that other common offenses committed against children include defilement, child sacrifice but cases of such grave nature are handled by the Criminal Investigations Department at Kibuli.

The genesis of the day of African child started in 1991 when several African leaders who had gathered at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), instituted this day in memory of the student uprising against apartheid in Soweto, South Africa.

During that time, the students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own native language.

At domestic level, Uganda has come up with some interventions aimed at improving child health.

For example, Vision 2040 aims at reducing the infant mortality to 8 per 1,000 live births by 2040 and the National Development Plan aims at reducing the deaths to 16 per 1000 live births by 2020.

Also at the same dialogue of various stake holders, Molly Kyomugasho, a teacher of Kyambogo primary school, called upon parents to provide breakfast to their children so that they can concentrate in class.

The theme for this year's celebration is "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity".


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