Sunday March 9 2014

Child protection should be priority for post 2015, says activists

By Olive Eyotaru

As the world counts down to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline in 2015, child rights activists want Uganda to play a leading role in deciding the post-2015 agenda.

Uganda is set to be president of the UN General Assembly in September this year, after the African Union executive council, composed of African ministers responsible for foreign affairs, unanimously endorsed Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa’s candidacy for president of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2014-2015.

The Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children, in partnership with Child Fund Uganda, a non-governmental organisation, are mooting the prioritisation of an end to violence against children across the globe during the post-2015 development agenda.

What they say
Ms Rory Anderson, the director external relations at Child Fund International, noted that the statistics on violence and child labour are grave, saying the vices are some of the unfinished business of the MDGs that were not included in the first agenda.

Mr Timothy Opobo, a child protection specialist at Child Fund Uganda, lamented the laxity in implementation of laws that protect children. He cited physical, emotional and sexual abuses, the latter being the most highly rated crimes against children.

According to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics, two million out of the 18 million children in Uganda are in child labour.