Let’s prioritise child protection

What you need to know:

  • This was escalated by the lockdown and is deeply rooted in harmful cultural norms that propagates the notion that punishing the child is a way of disciplining

According to a Crime Report 2021 by Uganda Police, cases of violence against children are on the rise, right from the time the country has been in lockdown since 2020 up to date, NTV disclosed in a news telecast at 9.17pm on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

Sad to say, most violence and or child abuse cases that transpire are usually in family settings. Conversely, the family that should be the epitome of child protection, synonymous with love, good tranquility and protection, is instead being identified with child abuse, violence, neglect and torture.

This was escalated by the lockdown and is deeply rooted in harmful cultural norms that propagates the notion that punishing the child is a way of disciplining. Thus, leading to torture and violation of human rights of children.
Recent studies in early childhood development from Harvard University reveals that violence against children has a plethora of far reaching consequences such as damaging formation of brain cells due to excessive release of cortisone in the brain that in turns negatively affects the academic performance of children. 

Additionally, it results in internal diseases such as ulcers, high blood pressure and heart attack among other collateral damages. Caregivers should beware.
According to the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16 sub-section 2, all member states of the United Nations of which Uganda is a member, are mandated to end abuse, exploitation, torture and all forms of violence against children by 2030. This is simply to say that child protection is a Global issue and as a country, we have the obligation to promote child protection. 

Globally, in child protection discipline, there has been a paradigm shift in 2008, from a siloed approach of child protection programming; where a particular child protection issue is addressed in isolation to a systems based approach to child protection programming; where a child protection issue is addressed through a multi-sectoral approach in order to meet the needs of a child in a holistic manner.

 This calls for coordination across various sectors of the economy such as education, health, justice, and the social sector congruent with the minimum standards of child protection reflected by the Global Child Protection Working Group.
A situation analysis report of child protection in Uganda by UNICEF (2019) reveals that Uganda has no particular sector for child
 Dr. Peter Akera (PhD)        

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