Gov't Commits to End Violence Against Children

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The government has committed to protecting children's rights and preventing violence against children.

The commitments shall be presented before the World Solutions Summit set for February 2022, which is aimed at addressing key policy challenges facing the Group of Twenty (G20) and other global governance fora.

Some of the commitments include promoting positive and responsible parenting, equipping parents and caregivers with appropriate information to keep children safe at home, in the community and eliminating all forms of violence against children.

They have also committed to making the Internet safe for children, making schools safe, non-violent and inclusive, protecting children from all forms of violence in humanitarian settings like refugee camps and also strengthening systems, services and networks to prevent and respond to violence against children.

Speaking during a dialogue with members of Civil Society and International Organizations at Silver Springs Hotel Bugolobi on Thursday, the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development Betty Amongi said that the government will work with committees at the national, district and lower councils to ensure the commitments are realized. 

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Amongi says that the COVID 19 pandemic has seen an increase in the number of abuses against children in homes and communities.

The Uganda Child Helpline- UCHL under the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development received an average of 100 calls per day before COVID 19 lockdown but shortly after lockdown measures were put in place between 10 and 26th April 2020, the helpline received 21,904 calls with an average of 1,369 calls a day.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development Aggrey David Kibenge says that of all commitments, parenting is key because children spend their early stages of children with their parents and caregivers.

Kibenge called upon parents to embrace their role of parenting and avoid leaving it to teachers.   Kibenge says that although government puts in place laws to protect children against violence, the parents are key to ensuring implementation.

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Dr Howard Taylor, the Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children called for more research into child violence. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased cases of violence against children.

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The Director of Education, Youth and Child Development Julie Grier-Villate says that Uganda has developed several tools that have helped avert child violence but encouraged that more should be done.