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Empower Children to Fight Violence- Police :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Empower Children to Fight Violence- Police

Atuhaire said if children are empowered, they would have the confidence to speak about violence being unleashed on them by teachers, parents, and neighbors in the societies where they live, and their own homes.
The Police have said that children are silently facing all sorts of violence because they are not empowered.

Maureen Atuhaire, the commandant of the Child and Family Protection Unit, said if children are empowered, they would have the confidence to speak about violence being unleashed on them by teachers, parents, and neighbors in the societies where they live, and their own homes.

She said whenever she interacts with children who have been victims of violence like defilement, they show that what was done to them was extremely bad but they chose to remain silent.

“It is puzzling when I interact with children in school, and a number of them can recite the rights. But I haven’t seen a number of them coming up to report cases of violence against them. This an indicator that the children are not empowered as yet and they usually back down from cases when intimidated by the perpetrators,” Atuhaire said.

Atuhaire was on Thursday speaking at an event organized by Civil Society Organizations and the government. This is part of a series of celebrations of the international day of the African Child celebrated every year on June 16.

Atuhaire’s concerns about underpowered children were also highlighted by Patrick Ssenyondo, one of the panelists at the event. Ssenyondo said for the times he has come across child violence stories, he has been disappointed because victims are made to drop the cases mid-way before justice is met.

“Cases of child abuse within the community especially in schools end up failing. A head teacher will tell the child to keep quiet to protect the image of the school, even the parents will be bribed to do the same and the child is not empowered enough to stand up to the obstacles.”

Moses Ntenga, the Executive Director for Joy for Children, an advocacy organization said the children empowerment gap can be closed when they are made aware that their rights are their responsibility.

Ntenga said while all other role players are committing to ending the violence, the children need to learn that these are their very rights to steward and they are at the frontline.

The annual police crime report last year indicated that 13,489 cases of child abuse were registered. Of these 1,240 cases constituted abuse and torture. Of the same report, 12580 cases registered were registered as defilement.

This year’s theme for International African Children's Day is; The Rights of the Child in the Digital Environment, intending to ensure that children’s rights are protected in this era.

Sarah Mateke, the Minister of State for Youth and Children mentioned that one of the ways to empower and protect children from intimidation is through providing the toll-free child helpline known by its brand name Sauti 116.

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