By Ken Musaba
Been in my rural area the previous week and what I saw children being put through got me wondering, if community based organizations (CBO’s) and Non-governmental Organization (NGO’s) entailed to protect children has failed?
The children in the country sides are going through tough times that need to be addressed and looked upon, by the children rights commission based in the community level if there is any.
Some of the children rights that are mostly abused are;
- Child Labour; this is the most and common abused right of a child in the community level. Children at a young age are sent to work in plantations especially now that planting season is with us, so as to provide for the family or buy needed necessity for their education or their siblings.
When you walk through the streets, more than 30% of French fries vendors are children who are supposed to be at school.
- Child Negligence; the number of children who have been deserted by their parents is shocking. Most children are left at their grandees who are too old to go to work and provide for the family hence this leads to these children going to work and others into prostitution to provide for their young ones.
- Corporal punishment; I had written an article on this the previous week, so when I travelled upcountry I decided to engage some of the children on how parents punish them after doing a mistake. What I heard was shocking, most of them the way they are caned is in-human, when they remove their t-shirts you could see stripes of black spots on their backs left by the canes.
Other parents go a one on one blow match with the kids, making the child miss school for a week just nursing injuries.
- Drug abuse; I have seen families where selling of cheap liquor is their source of income and they don’t care if it’s a child who buys it or an adult; this has led to many children in the area to indulge into drinking it. Don’t the children from that same family drink? Since most of the time they are the ones that are used to sell to their customers especially the young girls.
- Early pregnancies; the number of young girls that are expectant is alarming and who have also given birth is at a higher rate. I know of two sisters that both have given birth when they are still in primary schools at class six. Most of their children fathers are their customers for cheap liquor and boda bodas. These guys have taken the advantage of the girl’s basic needs.
I had a chance to also attend a court proceeding ones and engaged with a court marshal, she said that, every day there is atleast a case or two of child defilement that they handle. And, most of these children are either defiled by their teachers or close relative.
The most annoying thing is that this happens at the nose of the CBOs; even other members of the CBOs are customers to these children selling chips in the road side. Some of these members are the ones who hire the children in their homes to work odd jobs. Who will fight for these children if you the ones who are abusing their rights?
You could also overhear them saying when they buy from the kids, “do you know he is the one that feeds the family, his mother is an alcoholic and has no time for the kids.” Where are the organizations that supposed to help these children?
Where do the funds to help such children go? Are these organizations formed just for the thrill of it?
Ken Musaba is a journalist at Mtoto News, focusing on parenting.
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