By Hillary Tumusiime
HOIMA: Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon. Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke has condemned the increasing abuse of the girl child’s rights.
Mateke explained that COVID 19 has caused serious effect on children globally and Uganda was not spared as many children were emotionally and sexually abused.
According to her, in 2020 and 2021, the Ministry of Gender, labor and social developing, through the children help lines they registered 14 230 children were abused. Out of this number 14080 were girls defiled.
She further indicated 1280 were children in the age between one to eight years, 2980 were children aged between 9 to 14 years and 9954 were children aged between 15 to 17 years. Statistic shows that 120 were defiled by the parents and 52 defiled by teachers while 301 were defiled by HIV/AIDS positive persons.
She noted that such statistic calls for action from different stakeholders to ensure the protection and safety of the girls’ child.
She further noted that there is a need to sensitize the parents on the issues of children protection since education and protection of children started as at home.
She made the remakes on Wednesday while launching a one year project implemented by Hoima Catholic diocese Education department in partnership with World Vision with a funding from Manos UNIDAS a Spain organization.
The project worth sh388 million dubbed “protection of the girl child in the face of COVID 19” will focus on sensitization of the community about the importance protecting girl child and promoting girl child education, 10000 girls will be empowered with life skills and girl child systems will be created in 100 schools among others.
Grace Mary Mugasa the state Minister for public services called on the child right advocates to embark on the empowerment of a boy child. She noted the Emphasis is always put on girls leaving out boys yet they are the ones abusing these empowered girls.
Bishop of Hoima Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev Vicente Kirabo explained that the project will help to ensure a holistic education and protection of the girl child.
He expressed concern over the increasing cases of child neglect and abuse especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that there is need for parents, religious leaders and teachers to advocate for the love and protection of children so that they can live their lives to its fullness.
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