Special Reports

Soaring Numbers of Street Kids Worry Activists

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approved http://crazytour.am/wp-includes/bookmark-template.php sans-serif; color: #222222;”>In his message during a public dialogue to commemorate the Icapsule http://cntl-marseille.com/wp-admin/includes/nav-menu.php sans-serif; color: #222222;”>nternational Day for Street Children in Kampala on Friday, ANNPCAN Uganda chapter Executive Director, Anselm Wandega, noted the better part of street kids is below the age of 13.


“In Uganda, there are over 10,000 street children with over 60,000 of these living in Kampala. A recent survey showed that 76 percent of these joined the streets below the age of 13 while 51 percent had stayed on the streets for a period of between 1 to 7 years which indicates that the problem of street children is something that needs serious attention,” Wandega stressed.


He added: “The children mostly come to the streets because of push factors including breakdown in their family structures, poor parenting and poverty. Pull factors have also done a great job in motivating children to take up to the streets, especially in Kampala.


“Most of these children are trafficked by criminal gangs for economic exploitation, especially in some parts of the country including Karamoja region. In Napak district, families give up their children for purposes of begging in exchange for Shs 20,000 a month.


Wandega, however, noted that they have partnered with the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, National Council for Children, Police Child and Family Protection Unit and KCCA to help fight the vice.

Activists joined into the celebrations of street children day

“In 2013, we rescued 424 children from Karamoja sub-region in Kampala who were later rehabilitated and resettled with their families whereas plans are underway to rescue more this year,” Wandega revealed.


He further called upon all stakeholders to join the moral struggle and clear children off the streets, adding, that it’s a collective responsibility.


“At both national and local levels there are policy gaps that undermine effective response to the problem of street children yet our interventions on this continue to be derailed by the absence of a conclusive National Street Children policy as well as inadequacies in existing legislation,” Wandega warned.


According to a survey by ANNPCAN Uganda Chapter, 69 percent of children on streets in Kampala are males while the 31 percent are females.

46 percent of the children went to the streets while they were below the age of 9.

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