It is estimated that at least 30 girls under the age of 18 are defiled every day in the region. Recent statistics by the Ministry of Education reveals that over 10,000 girls were impregnated during the lockdown period in Acholi.
Civil Society Organizations in the Acholi sub-region have formed a
joint coalition to combat teenage pregnancies, child marriages and other forms
of child abuses.
The 15-member coalition of non-profit making organizations includes AVSI
Foundation in Uganda and Gulu Women Economic Development & Globalization
(GWED-G) among others.
The agencies have tailored interventions especially in education,
human rights advocacy and livelihoods improvement, spearheaded by Save the
Children in Uganda.
It is estimated that at least 30 girls under the age of 18 are defiled every
day in the region.
Recent statistics by the Ministry of Education reveals that over
10,000 girls were impregnated during the lock down period in Acholi.
For instance, as of September 2020, Lamwo district recorded record mark 1,000
teenage girls who were impregnated; 930 in Pader, Agago 735, Nwoya 649 and
Amuru 635 and more than 4,000 girls were impregnated Gulu during the
COVID-19 lock down.
According to statistics from Gulu Central Police Station, Probation and Social
Welfare Department up to 722 girls including six boys were defiled in Gulu
spanning the period of lock down in the country. Of the cases, 177 were
investigated by police and only seven were convicted.
Immaculate Nalubyayi, the Senior Officer Advocacy and Communications under Save
the Children Officer says that the coalition is tasked with collecting data on
reported cases for appropriate intervention mechanisms to help address the
plights of children.
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Godfrey Nsubuga, the Programmes Manager Hope and Peace for Humanity, who
doubles as the coalition’s Chairperson notes that many children are subjected
to various forms of abuses like child labour, early marriage and teenage
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Brenda Aromorach, Gulu based Field Officer at the Forum for Women in Democracy
(FOWODE), a women's rights organization in Uganda observes that the cases of
abuse on teenage girls in the region are alarming and require Police to step up
Some of the determinants of teenage pregnancies in Uganda include weak
implementation of the Penal Code Act which criminalizes sexual intercourse with
girls below 18 years.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), defines teenage pregnancy as “a
teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant and refers to
girls who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world”.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most of the teenage
pregnancies are associated with complications such as preterm labour,
intrauterine growth retardation and low birth weight, neonatal death,
obstructed labour, genital fistula and eclampsia.