TWO WOMEN PLEAD GUILTY TO DESERTING THEIR CHILDREN ON THE STREETS FOR BEGGING
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Two women from Karamoja who have been deserting their children on the streets to beg have been arraigned before court for child neglect. The duo appeared before High Court Judge Valerian Tumuhimbise and pleaded guilty to the offence. It is alleged that on the 16th-March-2021, the two mothers who reside in Katwe deserted their children aged between four and seven months on the streets to win the sympathy of by passers. This follows a major rescue exercise by Kampala capital city authority and Dwelling places where 51 children including 8 babies were rescued. Being first time offenders, the two mothers were cautioned and asked to take full responsibility of caring and protecting their children. Justice Tumuhimbise also ordered that the mothers be returned to Napak in Karamoja region so that they are reunited with their children. According to Dwelling places, a local Ugandan NGO working with children living and working on the streets, over 15000 children live and work on the streets in Uganda. In Kampala, many of these are of Karimojong origin who are deserted on the streets to beg and the money collected by their parents or exploiters. Jessica Abenakyo, a communications officer at Dwelling places says it is unfortunate that such incidents continue to happen because they rob children of their childhood. “That is abuse and exploitation, I am happy that the law came out strong on these mothers who will serve as an example to many who have been doing it”. Ms. Abenakyo said. This is all happening a few days to the international Day of children living and working on the streets happening every 12th-April each year. The day is running under the theme Access for street children.