Bruno Muwuluzi, a student from Uplands High School, said that some of their colleagues on streets come from poverty stricken families and distant areas where they are offered to buyers by their parents under the pretext of finding jobs for them.
The failure of parents to spare time for their
children and guide them have been singled out as the major drivers of children
This is what dominated the children’s
Parliament held at Nsambya Sharing Hall on Wednesday. Children debated under
the theme; “Are Children safe and Protected” If yes, then why do we still have so many
children on the streets?”
Bruno Muwuluzi, a student from Uplands High
School, said that some of their colleagues on streets come from poverty stricken
families and distant areas where they are offered to buyers by their parents
under the pretext of finding jobs for them.
He said that upon arrival in Kampala, the children end up on
streets where they are turned into beggars. Muwuluzi argues that while poverty
is a key driver to growing number of street children, parents are to blame for
neglecting their children.
//Cue in: “Its poverty fueling child trafficking…
Cue out: …wake up!.”//
Marjorine Patience Nabisanso, a pupil from Kitebi Primary
School, said children are running to the streets because of family disputes,
child labor as well as failure by parents to allocate their children sufficient
//Cue in: “These are the reasons why…
Cue out: …to see where she can go.”//
Vox Pops – Children make recommendations to government on
//Cue in: “We call upon the government…
Cue out: …provide safer places for them.”//
The debate organised by Dwelling Places and Rahab Uganda,
which rehabilitate and support neglected and street children attracted more
than 200 children from nine primary and secondary schools in Kampala and Wakiso
They included Everlight College Bunga, Baptist High School,
Uplands High School, Setlight College –Kawuku, Kitebi Primary School.
Mothercare Preparatory School Nakulabye Junior School, Peace Primary School and
Lambs Child learning Center –Masajja.
The event was intended to give momentum to the commemoration
of the International Day for Street Children, which is commemorated every
12th day of April with a view of amplifying the voice of millions of
street children around the world.
The information sheet on child trafficking shows that about
1.2million children are trafficked each year. They are primarily trafficked for
child labor (domestic, farm, labor and increasingly in artisanal mining and oil
fields), street begging and sexual exploitation.
A 2018 enumeration report by Retrack, a faith-based UK
charity organisation shows that there are 15,476 street children in Kampala,
Jinja, Mbale and Iganga. In each of these towns, children from the
native tribes were dominant on streets, followed by Karamojong.
that in Kampala, the Baganda are the highest on the streets followed by Karamojong. Reports indicate that those who end up on streets face
constant abuse from police, government officials and community members.
According to Deymond Wamala, the Country Director Dwelling
Places, all children are prone to ending up on the streets. He observes that
many children they have rehabilitated have been found to come from rich
//Cue in: “Some of the children…
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Wamala says in 2018, Dwelling Places rescued 180 children
from Kampala streets and reconnected them with their parents but the numbers on
streets keep growing day by day.
He says child traffickers who he blamed for the ever-growing
number of children on streets need to be identified and dealt with by
authorities. He also welcomes the move to criminalize the act of giving money
to street children which makes them stay there.
Sulea Khatundi, the officer in charge of Child
and Family Protection Unit at the Central Police Station –CPS in Kampala
disclosed to URN that they have been conducted an operation previously where
close to 100 children were rounded, rehabilitated and re-united with their
She however says police is finding it hard to completely
remove them from the street because they are benefiting financially through
//Cue in: “Majority who are benefiting …
Cue out: …resettled in their homes.”//
The Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku who is also the
Chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Children – UPFC, says the
issues raised by children point to a weakness in parenting in the country.
He appealed to parents and other Ugandan adults to re-focus
and undertake their constitutional obligation to protect the children from
//Cue in: “I request that children…
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Kampala Capital City Authority –KCCA Deputy Director for
Gender, Josephine Lubwama Mukasa, said government doesn’t fund children related
She said due to competing demands, KCCA allocates only Shillings
20million each financial year to cater for children related activities, which
Reacting on children concerns, Lubwama said the
City Authority was to consider more sensitization in various communities
reminding parents of their responsibilities.
//Cue in: “Funding for children is limited…
Cue out: …at community level.”//
John Mugisha, a Probation and Welfare Officer at the Ministry
of Gender, Labour and Social Development said majority people have become
parents ‘accidentally’ and father or mother children and thereafter run away,
leaving the children to be nurtured by streets.
//Cue in: “Become a parent one…
Cue out: …this won’t them parents.”//
Mugisha, who is also in charge of the Sauti 116, a Uganda
child helpline, says the major setback to removing children on streets from
Kampala has been failure by parents in their roles.