Combating child sexual exploitation in Uganda

Hope for Justice is spearheading the response to the growing problem of child sexual exploitation in a Ugandan parish that lies within the Central Division of the nation’s capital.

Staff at the global anti-slavery charity’s Ugandan offices partnered with two organisations to provide training for 35 leaders in the Kisenyi district, a slum in Kampala’s Central Division.

Among those to benefit from the training were three representatives of the Uganda Police Force, two senior representatives of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the legal entity established by the Ugandan Parliament responsible for the capital’s operations, and the Mayor of Kampala Central Division.

The two-day workshop focused on highlighting the issue of child sexual exploitation to community leaders, informing them of the scale of the problem, and motivating them to positive action.

A member of Hope for Justice’s team said: “One of the main highlights of the training was that all of the leaders in attendance signed a commitment to support activities that will end sexual abuse and sexual exploitation in the Kisenyi community.

“During the session, five major societal challenges were identified to tackling this issue: prostitution; alcoholism and drug abuse; theft; gender-based violence; and brothels.”

They added: “Our learning focused on the Active Citizens’ Learning Journey approach, known as The River. This is based on the thinking that, in every society, life is lived like the water that flows in a river; the river is never straight, it has bends, shallows and deep sections. It follows that any effort to better society will involve a journey that will meet challenges. However, just like the river does not stop flowing until is reaches a larger pool, so should be the commitment of active citizens who are working towards a goal – their work will begin small, it will meet challenges but with perseverance, it will result in a great change within community.”

The training was organised in conjunction with the charity Child’s i Foundation and the British Council’s Active Citizens programme.

The workshop followed other successful training sessions delivered last year.