UGANDA: Over 21,000 cases of child abuse registered during Covid-19 lockdown

UGANDA: Over 21,000 cases of child abuse registered during Covid-19 lockdown

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The government has noted with concern the rising cases of child abuse and violence in the country over the last four months since Covid 19 restrictions were put in place

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some of the areas with the highest number of these cases include Kamuli, Gulu,Naggalama,Kiryandongo and Jinja road policing area in Kampala.

Speaking to the media over the weekend at her office in Kampala, Judith Nabakooba, the minister for ICT and National Guidance said there has been growing pattern of child abuse and domestic violence targeting children who are at home.

“During the pick of the lockdown between March, April, May, June and July, a total of 21260 cases of child abuse were reported to police,”Nabakooba said.

She said there are a number of reports showing increase in causes of child marriages where underage girls are being forced into marriage in exchange for money and other commodities.

“In some of these cases both girls and boys are under below the age of 18 years .There is also an increase in the cases of defilement,”she said.

She said the closure of schools should not be used an excuse to violate the rights of children and expose them to any form of sexual violence or abuse.

“We believe that during this period when children are in homes, it should be our responsibility as caretakers, as parents and as members of the community to protect these children more than when even they are in schools,”Nabakooba advised.

She called upon the public to join hands to make sure that the young generation is protected before the situation goes out of hand.

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