I THINK THESE CHILDREN SHOULD BE IN SCHOOL. MAKES NO SENSE TO ME WHY WE ARE BUYING MILITARY THINGS WHEN WE HAVE THESE KIDS ON THE STREETS. Did you know that most mercenaries recruit CHILD SOLDIERS. I fear for these kids. Who are the policy makers in #Uganda? I think you should arrest these future terrorists and put them in schools and feed them. Did you know that most people who end up in terrorism go there because of lack of basic needs? Of course you have the lunatics who want to blow themselves up to get 72 virgins in heaven. Sadly, none of them have ever even been with a Mugisu.
A survey carried out by children rights body ANPPCAN has indicated that the number of children taking to the streets has for the past 4 years increased.
Unveiling the report during the function to mark the world International day for street children this week, acting ANPPCAN Executive Director Ruth Birungi expressed concern over the trend which he said needs to be checked.
“In Katwe alone it was found out that the number of street children had increased from 100 to 600 in a period of 4 years,”Birungi noted.
According to Birungi and citing the report, this was the trend in other parts of the city including Kisenyi, along Ben Kiwanuka Street, Wandegeya, Jinja road, Bombo road and Namuwongo areas.
The acting ANPPCAN Executive Director noted that the increasing trend and number of children on Kampala streets in as a result of a combination of push and pull factors which she said if not curbed the trend will go high.
“A number of children interviewed said they came to the street due to poverty in their homes that forces them to try looking for something in a bid to earn a living whereas abuse at home separation of parents also greatly contributed to the increasing number of children on Kampala streets.”
“Over 10% of the children revealed that they had been forced by peer pressure to take to the streets while many others said they had been brought to the street by some individuals with motives of earning from them,” she added.
According to the survey, the children live in appallingly poor conditions; “We found that 83% of them sleep in the open on the streets whereas 93% are engaged in casual work including lifting luggage, fetching water and collecting scrap and bottles in a bid to earn a living.”
Birungi said that while on the streets, the children experience a lot of challenges in form of abuses which she classified as being physical, sexual, and emotional and exploitation yet most of them go unreported to concerned authorities for address.
“Over 27% reported that they had been sexually abused whereas others had been harassed by KCCA enforcement officers; arresting them so as to get them off the streets.”
The ANPPCAN Executive Director thus urged government through the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry to come true on its promise and enact the national street children strategy which would harmonize interventions and coordination among the different state and non-state actors.
“Government should try to put in place rehabilitation centers in different parts of the country to impart the children with skills before family re-integration as well as enforcing laws that prevent children from the streets,”Birungi noted.