Kampala Capital City Authority in Uganda has launched the Child Protection Ordinance that provides for the prohibition of exploration of children and related matters.
The ordinance which was passed by the Authority’s council on 21st May 2019 but launched this week by the city Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago makes it criminal for a person to employ or engage a child in any harmful or hazardous employment, sale of alcohol and narcotics to the child, child sexual exploitation.
It also makes it criminal to accept a child in video halls and bars , leasing or renting a house to a child, encouraging a child to remain on the street, and sending a child to beg or solicit money on the streets.
According to the ordinance any person who contravenes with the above upon conviction faces a fine of two currency points ( shs40.000 ) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both.
Speaking to the media at the sidelines of the launch, the lord mayor of Kampala, Elias Lukwago said this ordinance was made to strengthen the children’s Act, and also erase the picture that street connected children are criminals
“ As the Authority we have the responsibility to intervene and rescue these children from these merciless parents , some of them send them to the streets” Lukwago said.
The lord mayor asked government to construct a National Rehabilitation Center for Children as the law provides.
He explained that the Children’s Act 1996 requires that government constructs a national rehabilitation center for children where they can be provided with all necessary support.
He however expressed disappointment that upto date , the government has not established a national rehabilitation center for children which places a heavy load on Kampiringisa rehabilitation centre found in Mpigi district which is equally in an appalling and deplorable state.
He said the Authority is challenged in its efforts of rescuing children from the streets because it has no place to take them.
“We need this centre so that all children rescued from the streets have a place to be rehabilitated” Lukwago said
The city has of late seen an increase in the number of street connected children despite previous efforts to have them removed.