Report faults govt agencies on child abuse

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A report by Human Rights Watch has accused several government agencies, including the police, of perpetrating abuse and violence against street children.The 71-page report titled, “Where Do You Want Us to Go,” lists police, local governments and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) as agents of violence and abuses against children.“Police and other officials, including those from KCCA, have beaten, extorted money from, and arbitrarily detained street children after targeted roundups. In police cells, children face further beatings and forced labour, including cleaning the cells and police living quarters,” reads the report, which was released in Nairobi on Friday.However, Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, described the report as “daunting but without evidence”.“The problem with human rights activists is they do their research one sided and never come to us for a comment. We can never abuse children who are not rioting and we only complement municipal councils in their efforts to clean up the cities like other countries do,” Mr Enanga told the Daily Monitor by telephone yesterday.KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju and his deputy Robert Kalumba could not be reached for a comment as their known telephone numbers were not available.The report further accuses Uganda of putting adults and juveniles in the same cell, causing further violence and abuse and later releasing the children after extorting a bribe.But Mr Enanga dismissed the claim, saying Uganda has many juvenile centres such as Naguru and Kampiringisa, where each sex is catered for in all these centres and said some street children have turned into gangs terrorising the country.

Hstronow it was donestronThe report was compiled on the basis of interviews from 130 street children in seven towns in Uganda.The report targeted older streets children and it was done from December last year to February.

ptajuba@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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