The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Pius Bigirimana, has called upon development partners to rise up and fight violence against children.
The workshop that took place at Munyonyo saw dignitaries from over 21 countries in America, Europe, Africa and UN agencies meet to forge a way forward on combating violence against children.
While giving a keynote address, Bigirimana cautioned that, “If this violence is not checked, then we are going to have children who will grow into irresponsible citizens.”
The Permanent Secretary also cited that child violence is still prevailing in most countries because of lack of focus on evidence based interventions.
He noted that policy intervention by partner states should clearly be designated and designed to show evidence for what they are doing
“There are many actors like the NGOs in preventing violence against children, which is actually a good thing,” said Bigirimana.
“However, not many of these interventions have been proven to work. In order for us to optimize the limited resources, let’s ensure that policy being implemented, regardless of the funder is actually evidence-based,” he added.
According to Uganda’s first ever Violence Against Children Survey, 3 in 4 young adults experienced some form of violence during childhood
The survey released in 2018 also indicated that 1 in 3 young adults experienced at least two forms of violence – of either sexual, physical and emotional violence – during childhood
And half of all 18-24 year old Ugandans believe it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife.
The survey further highlighted that violence against children occurs at all levels of Ugandan society – in homes, schools and communities, among other places – with survivors suffering negative physical, mental, social and cognitive consequences.
Researchers say children who experience violence are more likely to become perpetrators of violence against children themselves in the future, fueling an inter-generational cycle of violence in the decades to come.
Bigirimana said Uganda “cannot continue to just implementing interventions because the fund is there; we must be accountable for results.”
He also emphasized the need to have a strong coordination between the government and the partner states.
“The Government has streamlined coordination mechanisms and the civil society organizations must therefore, through the approved coordination government structures, follow it. Scattering interventions makes us lose evidence of systematic alignment.”
He noted that the ministry will continue to peruse ways of directing increased government funding towards ending violence against children.
“While we continue to depend significantly on the financial support from development partners, let the funds be aligned to the sector investment plan,” he emphasised.