Four people have been arrested in Kampala for using children to beg and encouraging them to stay on the streets.
Anah Nalukude, Brenda Nakiru, Maria Longol and Santa Anyango were arrested during a children rescue operation by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on August 18, 2022.
At least 220 children, mostly from Karamoja, were picked from various parts of Kampala and taken to Masulita children’s home for rehabilitation.
The children were mainly picked from their hot spots around Jinja Road traffic lights, Wandegeya, Nakulabye, and Bakuli.
The KCCA Director for Gender, Production, and Community Services Godwin Gumisiriza says that there are more operations to rescue street children and designed strategies targeting perpetrators behind the crime.
“We are going to intensify the operations to have children taken to secure places. We are going to be arresting and prosecuting those involved in child trafficking and abuse,” Gumisiriza says.
In June, KCCA launched the Child Protection Ordinance 2022 to protect children from abuse including child labor and trafficking.
The ordinance prohibits acts that encourage children to stay on the streets such as giving them food, money, and clothing.
The law provides for imprisonment for six months or a fine of two currency points (sh40,000) for anyone who contravenes the law.
The ordinance gives KCCA the responsibility to rescue children whose rights are being abused and begging on the streets.https://kmaupdates.com/
It also provides that any infant used for or child found begging or soliciting shall be rescued and committed to the custody and the care of the probation and social welfare office.
“As the leadership of Kampala Capital City, we call upon everyone in the City to desist from the above acts against children. Anyone that commits these offences shall be handled in accordance to the law,” urged Gumisiriza.
The Ordinance provides for the prohibition of exploitation of children and related matters.
The ordinance was developed on the realization that children in Kampala were still facing several challenges including harmful or hazardous employment that include begging on the streets during day and night, food vending, bar and restaurant attendants, hawking general merchandise, employment as domestic servants, sale of harmful drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance to mention but anew.
At the beginning of August, KCCA rescued 260 children off Kampala streets and transported them to Koblin Youth Rehabilitation Centers in Napak district where the children hail from.