The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has warned individuals who traffic children from Karamoja and Moroto districts that legal action will be taken against them, once investigations reveal culprits.
Assistant Commissioner Youth and Children Department in the Ministry, James Kaboggoza Ssembatya said that the traders promise the children parents 20,000 UGX per month and put children on the streets.
He said these unscrupulous individuals pocket the rest of the money collected through street begging.
He notes that although the Ministry’s policy advocates for children to be removed from the streets once they appear, more children are emerging on the streets notably from Moroto and Karamoja.
Kaboggoza points out that 80% of the children on the streets of Kampala hail from the two districts, which suffer from harsh climatic conditions, abject poverty and insecurities associated with cattle rustling.
Kaboggoza regretted that efforts to protect these children from abuse such as sexual harassment, trafficking, exploitation and child sacrifice, sometimes have not worked well.
He says the ministry is working with the Prime Minister Office to create long term solutions such as provision of security, constructing water dams, irrigation and farming to support the community and dissuade children from taking to streets.
The trafficking persons act and a task force to prevent human trafficking also aims at protecting children from unscrupulous and illegal traders. He added.
Stella Ayo Odongo, Executive Director Uganda Child Rights, argued that street children are the most vulnerable and unprotected group in Uganda.
She maintains that to address the problem of street children, it is important to eliminate all factors that push them to the streets.
Odongo was speaking during the launch of nominations for the Tumaini Awards 2013. The awards target individuals and organizations that help unshackle children from early marriages, female genital mutilation, child sacrifice, trafficking and other social ills.