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What You Need to Know About the New National Child Policy

Following the completion of the review of the national Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) policy of 2004 under the stewardship of Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Cabinet on Monday, June 22, 2020, approved a National Child Policy that integrates all children related issues.

Speaking to reporters at Uganda Media Center on Tuesday, the Minister for Youths and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi said the policy looks forward to improving children’s rights.

“The new child policy will strive to improve the realization and enjoyment of all Children’s rights for survival, development, protection, and participation by all children in Uganda,” said Nakiwala.

She added, “the policy is to give strategic direction and coordination investments in interventions that address the realization of the four broad rights of a child. The policy has ensured that there is no duplication of strategies and actions, existing policies and action plans with a view of ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and non-state actors in the implementation of the policy remain clear.”

The policy identifies 5 core priority areas to guide the attainment of set objectives and interventions.

Child Survival and Health

Under this objective, the policy seeks to support programmes aimed at preventing child mortality and promoting children’s health including for refugee children.

The Government will work with development partners to develop and implement programmes and strategies aimed at enhancing access to user-friendly, maternal and newborn healthcare, appropriate care and treatment of major childhood diseases, vaccination against preventable diseases, nutrition, malaria prevention and treatment, HIV prevention and treatment, water and sanitation interventions and intensify community awareness on child survival and health at all levels.

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Education and Development

The new policy seeks to promote nurturing care, stimulation, and holistic development and learning for all children although Government already has in place a number of policies and strategies that address the need for timely reach of essential early childhood development services and support for all children between 0 – 8 years.

Childcare and Protection

Under this objective, the policy is to provide a coordinated national framework to prevent, respond, and protect children from all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.

At the core of this policy is strengthening the capacity of families to care for children and prevent unnecessary child family separation and were not possible to improve permanency planning through quality of alternative care options for children deprived of family care.

Child Participation

This will seek to promote the right of all children to be heard and express their opinions in all matters involving and affecting them according to their developing capacities. The Government will work with partners to ensure that child participation is more systematically practiced in child rights governance mechanisms as a contribution towards the realization of their rights but also all sectors and processes.

Systems strengthening

This objective is intended to strengthen systems for planning programming and delivery of quality child rights friendly and comprehensive services to children to ensure their growth and development to full potential.

The Government will work with partners to build and strengthen holistic and integrated systems and models to promote the best interests of the child as well as devote all efforts and work with all partners to build and maintain a strong evidence base on which all future child-targeted interventions and programmes can be effectively planned, implemented, monitored and evaluated.

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