Although some gross violation is reported in the media, to police and other authorities, many more cases of child abuse are not reported at all due to such factors as remoteness of hard to reach areas, ignorance of the population about opportunities for redress and weak child protection structures. It therefore follows that even the few cases that are reported, children do not get the adequate help, protection and justice they need due to structural and operational challenges in the child protection system.The annual Police Crime report has for the last years reported child sexual abuse (defilement) as one of the top crimes in Uganda, not withstanding the fact that other forms of child abuse; physical, emotional, social and economic are on the rise.
UYDEL implements a child protection project that aims to contribute towards the creation of a protective environment where children's rights and responsibilities are recognized promoted and protected by the relevant authorities (particularly law enforcement officers and local leaders), children, parents, teachers and community members in Kampala, Mukono and Kalangala Districts of Uganda. Under this intervention UYDEL specifically does the following:
• Conduct training workshops for police, local leaders, teachers, children and parents to increase understanding and skills on handling child protection issues.
• Works with police to provide direct support to abused children in terms of facilitating travels to police and court, obtaining evidence, providing counseling to children and their parents, alternative shelter, medical care and reporting.
• Conduct community dialogues with parents and community members to identify and promote child protection issues and community initiatives to protect children from abuse.
• Teach children (in and out of school) their rights and responsibilities as well as life skills to make infromed decisions and to protect themselves through peer education and support clubs.
• Support formation of parent support groups/clubs that promote positive parenting, reporting and referral of child abuse cases as well as economic empowerment self-help initiatives to counter poverty; which is an underlying cause of child abuse.
• Participate in national fora to influence child protection agenda in Uganda.