Child rights and protection in slum settlements of Kampala, Uganda: A qualitative study

Andre M. N. Renzaho, Joseph Kihika Kamara, Brian Stout, Gilbert Kamanga

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Abstract

Child abuse and neglect are complex and polarizing issues in many low and middle income countries. We explore them through a situation analysis of child rights and protection in Uganda. A qualitative study, incorporating 10 focus group discussions (FGDs; N = 113) and 20 individual interviews was undertaken in Kampala, Uganda. Emerging themes were grouped into family and community-level factors; legal framework, structure and continuum of services, and human and financial resources. Violation of child rights was characterized by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and exploitation; child neglect, homelessness, and child labor; dysfunctional families and abject poverty; and poor accommodation conditions; school drop-out due to economic hardship; early pregnancy, and social exclusion. Legal and regulatory factors included traditional harmful practices (including child sacrifice and witchcraft practices); forced marriage; and the perceived lack of the government's commitment to child protection. Without a strong legislation that protects children against abuse, promotes confidential reporting systems, and tackles domestic violence, children will still remain prone to various forms of abuses and exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-321
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Rights
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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