CHILDREN CHALLENGE LEADERS ON CHILD TRAFFICKING
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Former street connected children are calling upon president Museveni and other top leaders in the country to lead the fight on Child trafficking. Addressing members of the press this morning, the panel of six children said now is the time for top leaders to come out strongly on the child trafficking problem that is growing by the day. “We have not heard the president talking about child trafficking and other leaders. We are calling upon all leaders to prioritize issues of children especially on trafficking”. Stephen Wamala, a former street connected child said. Their views on child trafficking and unsafe migration have been put together in a report that they presented to the media calling for an end to practices like child sacrifice, female genital mutilation, and child marriages among others. “The practice of paying bride price allows traffickers to pose as potential husbands and this persuades greedy or desperate parents and guardians to exchange their daughters for financial advantage. It is also true that in our communities, children and young people are kidnapped for sacrifice for wealth gains”. Reads part of the report presented. The children are now calling upon the ministry of education to include issues of child trafficking in the syllabus or curriculum as one of the ways to create awareness on child trafficking. They are also calling for the enforcement of laws on trafficking children. “Government should enforce the law on trafficking especially the Trafficking in person act 2009 so that the traffickers are brought to book. Government should come out strong on issues if trafficking to protect children”. The children appealed. The former street connected children were rescued and rehabilitated and now going to school courtesy of Dwelling Places, a Child Rights NGO based in Uganda with support from Torres des hommes. Responding to the children, the Uganda parliamentary forum on children chairperson, Hon. Bernard Atiku said the report by the children will be given to the speaker of parliament for action. Speaking at the same briefing, the country director, Dwelling places, Damon Wamara said he was extremely happy that the organization he leads is able to change the lives of such children. “There is nothing as satisfying as seeing change, am happy to see that the children we found on the streets are now better and can even stand here and present. This gives me satisfaction” Mr. Damon said this as he hugged one of the boys rescued from Wandegeya. The Country Manager Uganda at Terre des Hommes, Mr. James Yesiga applauded Dwelling places for the good work and pledged continued support to the organization. This is all coming ahead of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons that is held on the 30th of July each year.