The Child and Family Protection
Unit at Arua Central Police Station has raised alarm over the rising cases
of child neglect. According to records at the unit,
at least 175 cases have been recorded over the past six months, which is higher compared
to less than 100 cases recorded over the past two years.
Jimmy Anguyo, the head of the Child and
Family Protection Unit at Arua CPS notes that the majority of the cases are
from Arua City and Arua district. According to Anguyo, couples with
multiple partners and increasing cost of living have been identified as the
leading causes of the vice.
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Stephen Eguma, the Arua District
Probation, and Welfare Officer says that child neglect is the second most rampant
child protection issue after defilement. Eguma has challenged parents
to take full responsibility by providing for their families before organs like the government and child rights bodies come in to help children.
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Ismail Tuku, the prime minister
of Lugbara cultural institution has described the situation as alarming noting
that the traditional and cultural practices where a whole community would take
responsibility for children are lost. He says they plan to embark on a campaign of sensitizing
the local community on the rights of the child.
According to Section 5 Cap 59 of
the Children Act 2016, it is the duty of a parent, guardian, or any person having
custody of a child to maintain that child that gives a child the right to
education and guidance; adequate diet; clothing among others.