PUBLISHED — 19th, September 2023

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), in collaboration with the Uganda Police, conducted a citywide rescue operation on Tuesday to address the persistent issue of children living on the streets of Kampala.

The mission resulted in the rescuing of 161 vulnerable children, who had been living in dire conditions on the streets of the Ugandan capital.

The joint operation is a response to the alarming issue of child exploitation, particularly the use of children for begging and trafficking.

Various stakeholders, including Abaana Ministries and Dwelling Places, rallied behind KCCA in this crucial mission by providing essential food items to support the rescued children.

These collaborative efforts reflect a community-driven approach to addressing the complex issue of child vulnerability.

The operation targeted street junctions within Kampala's Central Business District where these children are often found.

With compassion and determination, law enforcement and rescue teams safely picked up the children, providing them with a glimmer of hope for a better future.

The rescued children have been relocated to the Kobulin Youth Rehabilitation and Skilling Center in Napak district for comprehensive rehabilitation. This facility will not only offer them a safe haven but also equip them with the necessary skills to reintegrate into society as productive individuals.

Sheila Birungi, the Director Gender Community Services and Production at KCCA, shed light on the operation, emphasizing its alignment with The Kampala Child Protection Ordinance 2022.

Section 10 of the ordinance clearly forbids anyone from sending a child to beg or solicit for alms in public places, streets, offices, or commercial establishments. Additionally, it prohibits profiting from a child engaged in begging or soliciting for alms.

Violators of these provisions face legal consequences outlined in the ordinance. Upon conviction, they can be subjected to fines of up to 40,000 Ugandan shillings, imprisonment for a maximum of six months, or both. This serves as a stern warning to those who exploit vulnerable children for financial gain.

Earlier this year, the team rescued 150 children, while in 2022, KCCA initiated a similar effort, rescuing an astonishing 700 children from the streets and securing convictions for 36 child traffickers.

This not only highlights the persistence of the issue but also the commitment of KCCA and its partners in combating child exploitation.

Birungi cautioned parents and all Ugandans about the importance of protecting the rights and welfare of children. She stressed that children are our collective responsibility and should be nurtured and safeguarded, not subjected to exploitation and hardship.

As Kampala continues its relentless efforts to ensure a brighter future for its most vulnerable residents, it is evident that the battle to rescue and protect street children is far from over.

However, with the implementation of The Kampala Child Protection Ordinance 2022 and the unwavering dedication of KCCA, law enforcement agencies, and supportive partners, the hope for a safer and more secure environment for Kampala's children burns brighter than ever before.‚Äč

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