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06 Nov

Child protection and prevention of violence in homes.

Health Child is a registered child focused Non Government Organization in Uganda promoting children’s rights in vulnerable communities in Eastern, Northern and central Uganda currently in Jinja, Lira, Apac and Wakiso districts. Health Child is undertaking a child protection program intended to minimize child vulnerability by protecting children from different forms of rights violations and providing them with the right to live healthy. 96 percent of an estimated population of 17.1 million children below the age of 18 years in Uganda is considered vulnerable which is unacceptably high. Major causes of child vulnerability in Uganda include poverty, HIV/AIDs and conflict entwined with other family related factors domestic violence, low incomes, household food insecurity, and poor child care practices which further compound their vulnerability. Health Child aims at contributing to an effective community based child protection system through six broad strategies which include:

  1. Supporting and strengthening capacity of families, caregivers and other service providers to protect and care for children- We look at the family and the community as the first line of response for the growth and development of all children
  2. Mobilizing and strengthening community based responses for the care, support and protection of children
  3. Increasing access to protection and legal services for abused children
  4. Raising awareness and advocating for a supportive environment for orphans and vulnerable children
  5. Strengthening partnerships between government, the private sector and civil society to enhance resource leveraging for protection of children from rights abuses
  6. Research and documentation to inform child protection programming

A human rights based approach is utilised by Health Child to implement its program activities with key partners including parents/caregivers, local leaders, Village health teams, schools, health centers, police, line NGOs and government protection departments right from the village to ministerial level. 50,000 children, 20 local councils, 81 VHTs and 56000 community members have been reached by the program since its initiation in 2009. Current activities undertaken in the program include: trainings for local leaders on effective child protection implementation at village level, child abuse case management through local council courts and referrals, community sensitization activities on children’s rights and responsibilities enhanced with drama, school based child protection debates, research and documentation.

The priority of the children should not be left to the Government alone; everyone has the duty to protect children and it begins with you

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