Compassion International challenges media on child protection against Sexual gender based violence

Compassion International challenges media on child protection against Sexual gender based violence

Compassion International has challenged the media to be the strong voice children need at a time when they are experiencing pain, danger, and injustice due Gender based sexual violence.

This follows sentencing on Monday this week 4th July 2022 of a former headmaster of Chuho Primary School in Kisoro district Wilson Habiyika to 18 years in prison over aggravated defilement of a minor.

Between 2019 and February 2022, in Chuho village, Gasiza parish, Nyakabande sub-county in Kisoro district, the accused, who was a person in authority over the victim as the Headteacher of Chuho Primary School as a minor below 14 years, unlawfully performed a sexual act with the victim.

The organization’s National Director Lenny Mugisha says whereas this is a landmark sentence and a win in child protection for Compassion International and for the 14 year old victim, there is much to be done with the rising child protection cases in Uganda.

“The media must report all forms of violence children are exposed to in Uganda using child-sensitive and friendly reporting principles regardless of the state the violence takes, be it emotional, physical, sexual, exploitation and child labor, or neglect” Mr. Mugisha said.

He says as a faith-based organization with a mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name, they are “deeply concerned about the rising child protection cases and their negative consequences.”

“This indicates that despite efforts made by various actors to curb this form of violence, the crime has continued.”

The organization is now appealing for an uncompromising determination from all stakeholders to put concrete measures to address sexual gender-based violence against children.

“As a nation, our efforts to achieve child well-being, such as education and health, will be significantly undermined if we do not tackle this severe form of child rights abuse” Mr. Mugisha added

He called for immediate action from those responsible for protecting Ugandan children, and on all institutions, households, and individuals to uphold the highest standards of behavior towards children in their private and professional lives.

“Parents, caregivers, and guardians must create a safe environment in and around the home for their children.”

Mugisha further urged Community members and local leaders to continue raising awareness at the household and community level about the importance of protecting children from abuse and ensuring that all child abuse cases are reported to appropriate authorities including any incidents where videos, photos, or audio recordings of child abuse are submitted.

He encouraged all stakeholders to make use of the Sauti toll-free helpline (116) by the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development to fight child abuse jointly.

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