|CDO Kitholhu Addresing the committee|
|Mr.Ayo talking about VAC|
In the struggle to create zero violence against children at all stages and levels, RIC-NET strengthens the child protection committee in Kitholhu Sub-county. Wider child protection knowledge in regard to the upbringing of children, teaching children their rights and duties, roles and responsibilities of the committee, referral mechanisms among others were discussed. Current cases of violence against children like sexual harassment, denial of food, child labour, bad touches, nicknaming, tattooing, use of vulgar language child marriages among others in Kitholhu Sub-County were also highlighted and ways to solve them such as making referrals to respective offices, moving to churches and ceremonies to preach the message prevention of VAC, providing guidance and counseling to VAC victims, keeping records of homes with violence cases, preach the message of love of parents to their children, making community awareness among others was also put forth. This committee is comprised of Para-social workers, zonal leaders, religious, the police, probation office and local leaders.
During the meeting, senior women teachers who are also part of the committee were assigned to identify defilement cases among pupils and report immediately, head teachers were also tasked to compulsorily carryout pregnancy screening among girls every term, parents were requested to provide vocational skills to children who have dropped out of school, the committee should identify VAC cases and follow them up among others.
Internationally there is growing attention to the prevalence of violence against children and huge momentum around preventing and addressing violence against children. Many studies, such as the Violence Against Children Studies (VAC), have added to the growing body of evidence that demonstrates how violence against children and the exploitation of children are global social, economic, human rights and public health issues, with significant negative health and social impacts. In Uganda, an estimated 25% of teenage girls are sexually abused, resulting in child motherhood and a high risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections (Uganda National Household Survey). In addition, 38% of children experience violence at home and 32% at school. The evidence shows that children and adolescents in Uganda continue to face sexual exploitation, early marriages, human trafficking, drug and substance abuse, involvement in social unrest, and engaging in criminal activities.
Therefore let it be everyone’s responsibility to create zero violence against children in Kasese and Uganda as a whole.