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News : Government Sets Up Open Line to Curb Child Abuse
Kireka, Uganda, Sept 30, 2015 -- If a child has been raped, defiled, molested, neglected, exploited or denied the six basic needs for survival such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education please call toll free code 116 for immediate help, the state minister for Youth and children affairs, Evelyn Anite, has disclosed.
Anite said this while commissioning the first helpline in the country located at Kireka Rehabilitation centre in Kira municipality in Wakiso district. It is the first of its kind in Africa.
The Uganda Child Help Line (UCHL) set up by the Gender ministry in partnership with UNICEF, Plan Uganda and other Civil Society Organizations (CSO) will operates 24 hours daily.
"The national child helpline call centre is part of government priority goals to ensure that children are free from all kinds of abuse and able to realise and enjoy their rights to protection," the minister said.
According to a crime police report indicates that a total of 1,322 cases were investigated in 2014 as compared to 1,315 cases in 2013 hence giving an increase of 0.5%.
This category includes mainly incidents of murder by hitting using blunt objects (138 cases); murder by cutting/hacking (154 cases); murder by stabbing (72 cases); murder by strangulation (80 cases); murder after rape (25 cases); murder after defilement (04 cases) and murder after aggravated assault (113 cases) among others which include, but not limited to drowning, electrocution, robbery etc.
"This is a medium through which abused children and children seeking different forms of help could report and receive assistance, so please encourage the children too to use it," Anite said.
Anite applauded organisations behind the innovation for renovating the premises, furnishing and ensuring the running of the facility.
Plan International country director Fikru Abebe said that they had injected over sh550m in the project with support from Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to foster the reduction of child abuse cases in the country.
"The reconstruction of the centre was part of our organisation's on-going efforts of supporting government programmes. We have fully equipped the centre with desktop computers, office desk. Reliable internet facility, new motorcycles, and telephone handsets," he said.
Susan Eckey, Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, applauded the government of Uganda for its continued efforts to fight for the rights of children saying that this is paramount for any country's development.
"Everyone has ever been a child and if our rights were abused then we would not be here, so it is our mandate to protect the children and let them enjoy their rights if they are to replace us. I am proud of Uganda because it is the only country that has a child helpline," she explained.
Anite explained that the number of cases reported using UCHL are 4, 891, with twelve critical cases, reported on daily basis which requires urgent responses.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The United Nations Children's Fund is a United Nations Program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
Published: Monday, October 5, 2015