Protecting Children in Uganda: Replicating our Child Protection Team Model into Three New Communities
Children on the Edge work with slum communities in the suburbs of Jinja, Uganda, where children are at risk of abuse, trafficking, neglect and in extreme cases, child sacrifice. Since 2012 we have been working to make communities safer and eradicate the practice of child sacrifice, along with campaigning for a change in the law in Uganda to protect children from this awful crime.
Our work has been so transformative that we are now working to expand into new communities in Uganda to tackle child rights abuses and ensure vulnerable children are better protected and able to thrive. We have already started work with one new community, Mafubira, and want to replicate this successful model in three further communities (Busia, Karamoja and Namataala). Find out more and how you can help below.
Children on the Edge celebrates as ground-breaking new law is passed in Uganda criminalising the practice of child sacrifice.
After five years of civil society campaigning (seven-years for Annie), Children on the Edge is delighted to announce that The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Act 2021 was officially signed into law on the 14th July 2021.
The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill 2020 was passed by Ugandan Parliament on the 4th May 2021. Before it could officially become Law, it needed to be prepared for 'assent' by the President of Uganda.
We are pleased to say that The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Act was assented on the 14th July 2021 and communities now have the backing of the law to protect their children. Read more about how a Bill becomes law in Uganda.
The new law aims to curb rampant cases of human sacrifice in Uganda by addressing gaps in the existing legislation that do not adequately handle the appalling practice of child sacrifice and ritual murder as a specific crime.
Children on the Edge, together with Annie Ikpa (media professional and the instigator of the concept of this Bill), Children on the Edge Africa and World Vision Uganda have been at the forefront of campaigning for a change in the law, leading up to this crucial decision.
On Monday 7th June we held a special virtual event, telling the inside story of our five-year fight (seven years for Annie) to change the law in Uganda and put an end to the horrific practice of child sacrifice. All members of our panel have dedicated themselves to the fight for change and we heard from them about the many highs and lows, what inspired the campaign, and how it all started with a group of local community volunteers working to protect their own children.
Our Panel included:
We’ve put together a video of our highlights from the evening for you to watch...
Gali is three years old and his parents fled to Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda around six years ago after a life-threatening conflict erupted between the Hema and Lendu tribes in their village of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda is a world leader in the way it hosts refugees, but Gali’s mother Maurine says that since crossing the border into the country life has not been easy.
Children on the Edge works alongside local communities in some of the toughest places in the world to transform the lives of overlooked children by co-creating protective environments where they can safely live, play, learn and grow. To do this, we work closely with the people and places that have the most impact on the child: the family, classroom, community and society.
If families lack the resources to meet needs and solve problems, their children are pushed to the edge. They become poorly protected and are at risk of abuse, exploitation, exclusion and neglect, causing irreversible damage.
In Uganda, we support communities to create a protective environment for their children. Recently, we facilitated our annual 'Most Significant Change' exercise with the five slum communities we work with in Jinja, Uganda. People from each area gather to share their experiences and discuss which stories of change are the most significant to them over the year, and why. They then vote on which story they feel represents the most important kind of transformation for them as a community.
This is the fourth time we have used this technique in the Loco, Masese I, Masese II and Masese III and the second time it has been used in Wandago. Here are some highlights from the stories chosen by each community.
Namakusa Ruth - MASESE I
Kyaka II refugee communities celebrate completion of the first four Early Childhood Development Centres.
In July 2020 we broke ground on the start of our sustainable construction project in Kyaka II. Partnering with Haileybury Youth Trust (HYT), over two years we will be working alongside local communities to rebuild and refurbish 14 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres that we support across the 30 zones of the camp.
A member of the Children's Parliaments in India, interviewing another child for the survey.
World Children’s Day is recognised each year on 20th November. It is an opportunity to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights and marks the day when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This is a promise made 30 years ago by governments across the world to do everything in their power to protect and promote children’s rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.
The current global pandemic has created universal challenges to accessing education that millions have never faced before. This summer, children all round the world are getting ready to return to a very different school environment.
This summer also marks 30 years since the beginning of Children on the Edge. We’ve been overcoming barriers to education for the most marginalised since 1990, so for us, lockdown has been just one more hurdle to jump. The children we work with have been amongst the hardest hit, so we’ve been providing regular support and finding creative ways to get them back to school.
In slum communities surrounding Jinja, teachers from our Early Childhood Development Centres have made regular doorstep visits at each student’s household to keep education going. They have discussed learning, given out home study packs and checked in on children’s safety and wellbeing. They often found that children and their work books were dirty and advised parents on how to keep them clean.
Our digital programme in Bangladesh has helped transform the way Rohingya children learn in the Kutupalong refugee camp and the slums in Cox’s Bazar. Digital education content is projected in each classroom, tackling language barriers and helping to bring learning alive.