Uganda

Uganda is the youngest country in the world, with nearly 70 percent of its population under the age of 25. To support its children and youth, Uganda became a pathfinding country in September of 2016, making a formal, public commitment to ending all forms of violence against children. The End Violence Fund is supporting organisations throughout Uganda that are helping children affected by conflict, including the Association for Volunteers in International Service, the Lutheran World Federation, Save the Children Norway, Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation, UNICEF Uganda, UNHCR Uganda and World Vision International. The Fund also supports other projects in Uganda that tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

2015

Uganda launches the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa. The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development launches the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy (2014/15-2019/20).

2016

The Children's Act is passed, which bans corporal punishment in schools and sets the minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years, with no exceptions. Uganda also accepted several recommendations during its Universal Periodic Review to protect children from all forms of violence, and launches a National Action Plan for Child Well-Being 2016-2021. In September, Uganda becomes a pathfinding country.

2017

It then launches an action plan, the National Child Policy (2017-2022), which makes ending violence against children a country-wide priority.

2018

The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development develops a Multisectoral Framework for Adolescent Girls, which addresses violence, and published the Uganda National Parenting Guidelines, which aims to provide comprehensive multisectoral interventions to parenting.

2019

Uganda hosts a side event at the 2019 Commission on the Status of Women on ending violence against children through effective social protection systems.

In 2012, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development established the national Child Protection Working Group, which operates within its institutional framework and mandate. The Working Group draws on the expertise and resources of child protection agencies. By the close of 2014, the Working Group comprised of 40 active national child protection stakeholders drawn from government institutions, the United Nations and civil society. It is led by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

Members of the Working Group meet bimonthly, while the Working Group standing committees organized around particular focus areas meet at least once a month. At these meetings, committees monitor the implementation of activities within the annual work plan.

The Ministry has also established the Intra-Violence Against Children Technical Working Group, which brings together multiple departments, including Youth and Children, Gender and Women, Family and Culture, Literacy and Community Development, Labour and the Elderly, and Disability. All violence against children-related issues are first managed at the ministerial level through this intra-agency technical working group before they are shared with the Multi-sectoral Task Force. This task force is responsible for bringing together different ministries, development partners and civil society organizations under the chairpersonship of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

In 2015, Uganda conducted a Violence Against Children Survey under the leadership of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development with funding from PEPFAR through USAID and the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF and Together for Girls. A technical working group led the planning process and adapted the survey from a core protocol. The AfriChild Centre for Excellence, through ChildFund International and the Makerere University School of Public Health, led the survey implementation. UNICEF coordinated the study, while the Centers for Disease Control provided technical assistance and Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Uganda managed the response plan.

In 2016, during its Voluntary National Review at the 2016 High Level Political Forum, the government provided baseline data on the situation for child marriage.

In 2017, the results of the violence against children study were discussed in a data-to-action workshop and went through a process of local interpretation.

In August 2018, the full Uganda violence against children study report was launched. Data has been disseminated to all 127 districts in Uganda with specific regional data being shared at the regional level. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has started to offer technical support to districts on integrating violence against children into district action plans.

Key initiatives for ending violence against children in Uganda include the following actions within the INSPIRE strategies:

(a) Implement the amended Children Act;

(b) promote the reporting, tracking, referral and response guidelines on violence against children in schools to create violence-free learning environments;

(c) build a positive school climate and prevent school-related gender-based violence through activities outlined in Journeys: Activity Handbook for Teachers and School Staff; and

(d) strengthen families using the parenting guidelines and undertake the development of an action plan to address and prevent online child sexual abuse.

The Refugee and Host Population Empowerment strategic framework, a key component of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, is a transformative approach to bring together a wide range of stakeholders and ensure more effective programming to support the humanitarian and development nexus.

The Ministry of Education and Sports has developed a National Sexuality Education Framework, which will guide school-based and non-school based sexuality education in the country. Uganda is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years. Additionally, Uganda is one of 20 countries that has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020 under the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Lastly, Uganda is a member country of the Safe to Learn campaign.

In 2019, End Violence and our partners are working to:

Grow demand

  • By encouraging law reform that prohibits corporal punishment in the home, alternative care settings, and daycare. These reforms will extend current legislation, which only prohibits corporal punishment in schools, to all settings of society.
     
  • By encouraging plans that address the prevention of online violence (as opposed to response) and shed light on links between online and offline violence.

Mobilise resources

  • By organising a donor round table based on the national action plan analysis, including consideration for refugee and internally displaced children.

Equip practitioners

  • By developing a coordinated response to the Violence Against Children Survey, which was included as an action in the Child Well Being Plan (linked below).
     
  • By scaling up the implementation of the Good Schools Toolkit and the Coaching Boys to Men programme.
     
  • By training the social service workforce on INSPIRE.
     
  • By supporting a baseline assessment of online violence in 2019-2020.
     
  • By accelerating action around online and offline synergies.