NGO protests K’jong street kids relocation
Thursday, 8th February, 2007
By Harriette Onyalla
SAVE the Children, Uganda, has written to the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Syda Bbumba, protesting the manner in which children from Karamoja are being relocated from Kampala streets.
Recently, about 1,000 karimojong children and women were forcefully taken to Kampiringisa Remand Home in Mpigi district to await transportation back to Karamoja.
In a statement, the charity said the Government should get the consent of the children before forcing them off the streets.
“We note with great concern how the rights of these children are seriously compromised in the present actions taken by the authorities.”
It said the relocation should be done in consultation and with the participation of the children involved.
“This will guarantee informed consent prior to their relocation in accordance with the best interest of children, the right to freedom of movement, rehabilitation and reintegration of vulnerable children.
“The reasons why children end up on the streets need to be addressed. Ongoing problems in Karamoja such as famine, missing livelihood opportunities and security issues must be tackled,” the statement added.
Save the Children’s operations director John Reinsten appealed to the Government to stop using harsh language in the process of removing the children from the streets.
The charity said some government officials have been quoted in the media using dehumanising words like ‘get rid of’ to describe the relocation of the Karimojong children.
The NGO advised the Government to adopt a child-friendly and durable solution to the street children phenomenon.