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Teso Leaders Launch Girl Child Protection Drive

The campaign will focus on eliminating cases of defilement, rape and sexual harassment often subjected to young girls by peers, guardians and other community members including parents.

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Soroti district leaders have embarked on a new campaign to end abuses against the girl child as the school calendar comes to an end.

The campaign conducted jointly with the Uganda Police Force and area leaders part of a policing program aimed at reducing crime rates in Teso sub region. Focus will be put on eliminating cases of defilement, rape and sexual harassment often subjected to young girls by peers, guardians and other community members including parents.

Michael Odongo, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesperson told URN that cases of child abuse and neglect usually increase during the long third term holiday, according to Police records.

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Odong says that parenting should be taken as a thoughtful mandate in order to ensure that children are protected from danger.

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Michael Ochilaje, a teacher at Rock View primary School in Soroti municipality blames the reported cases of sexual exploitation on high levels of poverty and indecent exposure.

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Rose Tino, the chairperson of the council committee on community based services told URN that the campaign will also look out for parents who use their girls as sources of wealth, and as a result forcing them into early marriages.

She warned parents against sanctioning unclear visits to friends and relatives during the holiday which is stretching from early December, 2016 to February, 2017. "Let this famine and food crisis not force them to allow their children to go for visitation anyhow,” Tino told URN.

Paul Omer, Soroti Municipality mayor said recently warned teachers against getting in sexual affairs with their female pupils.

"This business of teachers familiarizing girl children to the extent of inviting them to run chores in their houses is very tempting,” Omer said.

Grace Amongi, a resident of Soroti municipality welcomed the campaign saying such effort will save mothers from losing their daughters to sex-hungry men. Amongi, a mother of three daughters says protecting the girl children requires extra restriction.

Joseph Ekalam, Soroti district probation officer encouraged parents to take responsibility in monitoring the movements of girl children during holidays.

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