The AfriChild Centre is committed to generation of research evidenceto ensure relevant policies for children in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemicand the subsequent government lock-down response are unprecedented. This situation demanded empirical evidence to provide a basis for informed action. In line with its mission, the AfriChild Centre conducted a scientific study to generate evidence on the effect of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of children in Uganda. This study was premised on the emerging challenges presented by the pandemic including; limited, inaccurate, inappropriate, and non-inclusive information on COVID-19, possible escalation of violence against children leading to increased pressure on the already limited social protection services.
The State of Uganda Father&rsquo's report 2021 is the inaugural report of its kind in Uganda. The report is a product of the AfriChild Center and is inspired by ‘ State of The World’s Fathers’ Produced by Promundo-US. The first-ever “State of the World’s Fathers” report was published in 2015 and followed by subsequent editions published in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. This report aims to impact power structures, policies, and social norms around care work and to advance gender equality. It joins a growing set of related country- and region focused reports on men’s caregiving around the world
At least 60 percent of the estimated 10,000 homeless children in Uganda reside in Kampala. These childrenare vulnerable to sexual violence—from peers, strangers and even law enforcement personnel. Sexual violenceexperienced ranges from rape to sexual exploitation can inflict adverse health consequences. Addressing thehealth needs of sexually abused street children is critical for ensuring the survival of children who live outside ofboth family and residential care.
The number of residential care institutions (RCIs) in Uganda increased during the past 20 years. As more institutions have been established, issues regarding the quality of care received by children have risen. RCIs are not only characterised as being overcrowded and unhygienic but have also been accused of failing to ensure their primary role of protecting vulnerable children. RCIs have also been characterised by sexual, physical, and verbal abuse from both caregivers and other children. The calls for regular supervision and monitoring of existing RCIs as well as promotion of de-institutionalization of alternative child care in Uganda.
Despite the 1995 Constitution establishing the duty of parents to care for their children, Ugandan children continue to experience multiple forms of violence at home. In addition to physical violence, other forms of violence faced by children include sexual violence either through forced sex, inappropriate touching or sexual harassment. Furthermore, children experience economic violence—through denial of school fees, money for uniforms or health care—as a form of punishment. Previous research shows that 98 percent of children in Uganda experience harsh forms of disciplining—such violent experiences can affects future wellbeing
A large number of Ugandan children are employed as domestic workers in households i.e. work in households other than their own undertaking domestic duties such as child care, domestic chores, and looking after livestock. Due to informal working relationship and the prevalence of live-in arrangements, domestic workers in Uganda have traditionally experienced discrimination and exploitation and children are most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. They are exposed to exploitation through little pay or payment in kind as well as long working hours. In addition, they are exposed to seclusion, dependency, corporal punishment and sexual abuse.
Uganda is committed to accelerating evidence-based action to prevent and respond to violence against children. However, childhood violence remains prevalent: a 2018 national survey found that 75% of children had experienced violence before the age of 18. The AfriChild Centre, together with ChildFund International, evaluated an intervention that aimed to equip children with the knowledge, confidence and skills to speak up about violence in their schools and communities and advocate for prevention and response.
Uganda has one of the world’s youngest populations with more than half (56%) of the total population under the age of 18 years and about 49% under the age of 15 (UNICEF, 2019). This population structure highlights an urgent need for deliberate and increased investment in child protection if these children are to fulfil their potential and contribute sustainably to the development of the country.