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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                           


Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate and stabilize the economy by undertaking currency reform, raising producer prices on export crops, increasing prices of petroleum products, and improving civil service wages.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Uganda

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Uganda.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Uganda: Forced Onto the Streets to Please the Men

Katarzyna Heath, The New Vision, Kampala, 9 September 2007

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The day of the street children starts early, as early as 4:00am. They wake and walk the three to four 4km from the village to Jinja town. The children are divided into groups, each entrusted with a task for the day.  This can be anything from rooting through the garbage skips, visiting the abattoir for meat left overs, collecting firewood and charcoal or scrap metal to sell. They are also expected to return with money, leading to their daily street begging that we are all witness to.

However, we are not witness to the beating they receive when return home empty-handed because no kind uncle has flicked them a grubby coin or two.  At around 8:00pm the children return home and hand in their day's earnings and gatherings. They will get a small meal if they are lucky and then go to bed, ready to start the whole onslaught the next day.

Some children do not even have a family to return to; classed as 'fulltime' they are runaways and occupy the streets twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Hard Life for African Street Children

Catherine Lyst, BBC Scotland news website, 31 May 2007

[accessed 2 August 2011]

A missionary with the African Inland Mission, she has most recently been working with Dwelling Places, which helps street children, abandoned babies and high risk slum families.  Many of them have HIV or have lost parents to Aids.

"Many suffer from depravity, disease, hunger and abuse. We see newborns to teenagers and families headed by children."   Marsali has witnessed five-year-olds living alone on the street and has even seen teenage girls who have spent their whole life on the streets having their own babies while homeless.  She has also come across numerous abandoned babies. They have been found on the street, in dustbins, tied up in plastic bags and found in pit latrines and swamps.


*** ARCHIVES ***

With COVID-19 in Uganda, street children can not access clean water, have no money to buy soap or santizers

Andrew Masinde, New vision, Kampala, 5 April 2020

[accessed 7 February 2023]

It was common to find groups of street children sitting on verandahs around most parts of the city waiting for traffic to stop vehicles and they start begging. Some just stay around looking at passers-by hoping that they will give them something to eat.  For some, they survive through searching in garbage bins for food while others survive by pick-pocketing unsuspecting persons. Some trade in illegal drugs and steal valuables from people's houses; among other life-threatening means.

Moving on the streets of Kampala, one would wonder whether the city has ever had any street child. No child is spotted on the verandas, streets, garbage bins or anywhere around the malls.  However, after proceeding to some of their hideouts, many are seen stranded wondering how they will survive the following day.

A survey conducted in the districts of Kampala, Jinja, Iganga and Mbale indicated that there are over 30, 000 street children. The survey further indicated that in Kampala alone, there are 15, 000 street children.  "They cannot access basic health services because they are looked at as outcasts.  Imagine if one got infected with COVID-19 where would they go. They have no means of communication, no identifications, no mean of transport among others. This means they will be stranded hence risk spreading the disease," he said.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or download PDF at

[accessed 18 March 2015]


LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY - On the streets, homeless adults and older children harass, beat, sexually abuse, force drugs upon, and exploit street children, often with impunity as police neglect to investigate crimes against them.

Street kids torture: Police responds to HRW report

Fred Enanga, Press and Public Relations Officer of Uganda Police, 2 Aug 2014

[accessed 3 August 2014]

The children while on the streets include those who maintain good family ties and often return home in the evening, with loose family contacts and occasionally return home, those completely detached from their families and live in gangs in temporary makeshift shelters, and then children of street families permanently on the streets. These regard the streets as a “residential estate” and form gangs for physical and emotional support, identity, security, and relief from life and anxieties within their groups.

During the day many of these children engage in a variety of activities like, carrying luggage, picking waste, begging, working in markets, loading/offloading, and stealing. Some work as taxi-touts, while others in restaurants, washing dishes and related chores. The majority of them however, scavenge for waste materials like scrap metal, plastic bottles, rubber materials that they sell to dealers.

The boys in particular seem to be high on drugs, aviation fuel or glue vapor most of the time and many of them suffer infected wounds from broken glass and dirty tins/ metals. The street girls are also visible during day; most of them work as house girls or prostitutes and play a role of “wives” at night to street boys who consider themselves husbands. They are further exposed to multiple hazards like exposure to sexual abuse, poor sanitation and health conditions, crime, child labor, drug abuse, and child prostitution.

The HRW focuses on the violation of Human Rights rather than the growing problem of children roaming the streets especially at night. They carry dangerous weapons like hand knives, metallic prick, iron bars, and have formed gangs and neighborhood cliques that control the city suburbs at night. They loot laptops, cell phones, wallets from persons and vandalize cars; sexually assault women isolated at night, and in extreme cases participated in Murder.

Number of children born on Kampala streets on increase

UGPulse News, Sept. 27, 2010

[accessed 3 August 2011]

The number of children born on Kampala streets keeps on increasing every month. The number of child mothers is also on increase in Kampala.  At least over 10 pregnant mothers are picked from the streets of Kampala every month according to child rights activists.

The Managing Director of Dwelling places Rita Nkemba says many young girls ran away from their parents and come to beg on the streets of Kampala.   She says these girls’ later gets pregnant on the streets yet they are unable to attend antenatal care. Nkemba says most of them are picked by good Samaritans and taken to Dwelling Places where they safely deliver healthy babies.

Street children a challenge to city authorities

UGPulse News, May 4, 2010

[accessed 3 August 2011]

The increasing number of street children in the city center is becoming unmanageable for Kampala City Council.   The Deputy Speaker of Kampala Central Division, Nabisere Asia Rizzo says the number of street children on Kampala streets is increasing on a fast rate.   She says 16 new street children come to Kampala streets every day, which made efforts by KCC to round up children and take them to Kampiringisa site to go unnoticed.

Child Restoration Outreach Gives New Hope to Uganda's Street Children

Samuel Wamuttu, UGPulse, February 21, 2009

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Opolot's father death meant his poor mother could hardly look after their five children. There was no food and the family of six were often ridden with sickness as their only shelter was a tiny grass thatched hut on the verge of collapsing.

At that point I went to the streets with the hope that things would be much better than at home," says Opolot, now 26. It was1992 and he was just 10 years old. "I was wrong. Life instead proved much more dangerous than I had thought."

Wounded and fearless despite his small frame, his body dotted with all sorts of rashes, tattered clothes, Opolot roamed the streets ransacking heaps of garbage in search of a hard to find daily meal. At night, he and his fellow street children would retire to boxes they used as beddings, to coil themselves along shop verandahs. It was at such times that the police would pounce on them in the wee hours of the night during their routine operations, making the street children to scamper in all directions.

"We were often awakened by mean loud voices. They hit us with sticks sending us in disarray. Some of my friends would sustain serious injuries from the caning.

100 Karimojong street kids rounded up

Eddie Ssejjoba, The New Vision, 13th January, 2009

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Over 100 Karimojong street children were on Monday night rounded-up by the Police in Kampala and taken to Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre in Mpigi district. The children’s mothers and elderly women were arrested as they tried to save them.

“These children have been giving a bad image to the country because they at times snatch items like phones, bags and money from cars and taxis, especially in traffic jams,” he said.   Tanui expressed concern that the number of street children was increasing in the city.   “When we would pick the young ones, their guardians would dash out of their hideout to protect them,” he said.   Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the operation would continue until the city is rid of street children.

It is time we focused on street children

David Muwonge, The New Vision, 14th September, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The Government seemed to have found a solution for street children during CHOGM but this was short-lived. Research by the US Bureau for Labour Affairs indicates that about 5,000 children in Uganda beg, wash cars, scavenge, work as commercial sex workers and sell small items on the streets of Kampala. The number of street children has been rising steadily for the last five years.

The majority of these homeless children are from Karamoja. The main causes of children’s problems today are armed conflict, diseases, lack of education, abusive parents or guardians, inadequate services and entrenched poverty.

Commercial buildings have more destitutes on the verandas than night watchmen. The young boys and girls break loose from hiding at 7:00pm to assemble on Bombo, Wilson and Entebbe roads. The city is no longer safe. Murder and rape cases are bound to increase because of these drug-sniffing children who will be adults soon.

In addition, tall, dark complexioned women with African bangles and anklets loiter the streets. They stretch their hands out to ask for a penny and younger girls aged 3-17 years lead in the quest for handouts. They run up and about the streets seeking for attention from the pedestrians and drivers while crying out “uncle, auntie,” whom they believe will provide for the day’s meal.

Uganda: HIV and Children Driven to Tears at School

Fred Ouma, The New Vision, Kampala, 9 September 2008

[partially accessed 3 August 2011 - access restricted]

An estimated half of Uganda's 1.8 million orphans have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Ugandan communities have traditionally absorbed orphans within the extended family system, and one in four households fosters at least one orphan.

However, many of these extended familial caregivers are overburdened and there are growing numbers of child-headed households and an increase in child labour, street children, abandoned children and school dropouts.

Kabale district gets Land Bill deal

Darious Magara, The New Vision, 15th August, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

She blamed some parents for the misbehaviour among youths. She lamented that most youth are poorly brought up, leading some to indulge in drug abuse and other anti-social behaviour.  Bbumba said some of these cases were responsible for fires in schools. She advised parents to live exemplary lives to raise responsible children.  The Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Cox Nyakairu, said child offenders and street children were not only posing a security threat but are a big social problem to the district.  The Chief Administrative Officer, Joseph Mukasa appealed to the ministry to establish mitigating measures and programmes that prevent children from committing crimes.

Sh250m for street kids project

The New Vision, 25th July, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

The Government has provided sh250m for the removal of about 2,000 children from the streets of Kampala, reports Milton Olupot.  State minister for youth and children affairs Maj. James Kinobe on Thursday said there would be constant surveillance to ensure that all street children are removed from urban centres.  There are about 10,000 street children countrywide, but the minister said due to budget constraints, children on Kampala’s streets would be removed first and when the resources are availed, other towns would also be cleared.

Uganda: Don't Sweep Street Kid Problem Under Carpet

Martyn Drakard, The Observer (Kampala), 16 July 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Lira's street kids are mainly but not exclusively boys, as happens everywhere. Girls are at particular risk, and invariably end up as prostitutes. Perhaps surprisingly, most are not orphans, but have run away from a dysfunctional household in the village, or have come to town in search of food. They live under tarpaulin or in bushes or any warm hiding-place they can find; they are not fussy about where they sleep. They are not hooked onto glue, as their Kenyan counterparts are, and which is deadly, but use bhang (marijuana), which reaches them from Somalia, via Moroto.

They fight each other. They go on patrol at night, and it's wise to keep away from parts of the centre of the town. Their ages range from nine to 16, but most are around 10 to 12.

They are not necessarily dangerous. They are insecure, but generally respond to genuine interest and kindness. They need someone to listen to them and, most of all, they need the affection they don't find at home, and which they look for in the gang. Better to give them food than money, with which they can buy bhang. Obviously they don't attend school.

Police round up street children

Chris Ocowun, The New Vision, 10th July, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Former night commuters, who had become street children in Gulu town, are being rounded-up by the Police.  They were reunited with their parents by the probation and welfare department, Save the Children in Uganda and Noah’s Ark Children Ministries.  Samuel Ouma, an assistant probation officer, said 30 children had been reunited in Pader, Kitgum, Pakwach, Amuru and Lira districts this month.  He added that the number of street children had reduced from 287 to 50.

“We found them near Gulu Public Primary School. They will be taken back to their parents. If they come back to the streets, their parents will be punished,” he warned.  Kilama noted that the majority of the street children had become thieves.

Night commuters are children who go and sleep at shelters in the towns of northern Uganda for fear of abduction by the LRA rebels.  Their numbers had soared to over 40,000 at the peak of the insurgency in 2003 but they are no more following the closure of commuter centres and the return of relative peace in the north.

10 Million Orphans

Tom Masland & Rod Nordland, Newsweek Magazine, Jan 16, 2000

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Bernadette Nakayima, 70, lives in Uganda's Masaka district, where 110,000 of the 342,000 children are orphans. Nakayima lost every one of her 11 children to AIDS. "All these left me with 35 grandchildren to look after," she says. "I was a woman struck with sorrow beyond tears." But she is not alone: one out of every four families in Uganda is now caring for an AIDS orphan, says Pelucy Ntambirweki of the Ugandan Women's Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO).

Address domestic violence to check street children

Robert Kashaija, The New Vision, 5th June, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Uganda is said to have the highest number of orphans in the world. A-quarter of all homesteads have an orphan who lost both parents to AIDS.  The US Bureau for Labour Affairs estimates that 5,000 children in Uganda beg, wash cars, scavenge, work as commercial sex and sell small items on the streets of Kampala. The number of street children has been rising steadily for the last five years.

Uganda: NRM Has Brought Robust Growth in Street People

James Abola, The Monitor, 18 May 2008

[partially accessed 3 August 2011 - access restricted]

Having lived and worked in Kampala for a fairly long time, I will be the first to admit that street children are to some extent one of the key defining features of Kampala.

The pull factors for leaving home and going to live on the streets include the excitement and glamour of living in a city; hope of raising living standard; financial wellbeing.  The social worker told me that it is particularly difficult to convince families to get off the street because the amount of money that street people make from begging is usually a lot higher than what they can make from entry level vocations.

Children warn profiteers from war

Bill Oketch, The New Vision, 30th March, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

 “If Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) denounces rebellion, we shall all abandon the street, go back home and start living normal lives”

Stolen childhood

Eve Mashoo, The East African, 25 February 2008

[accessed 9 January 2017]

About one in four Ugandan households have two or more orphans. The responsibility of raising these children is not easy and even providing them with basic necessities does not come that cheap. With the development of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) people living with HIV have managed to stay healthy longer, but not everyone can afford the life-prolonging drugs. According to some estimates, less than half of the 300,000 Ugandans in need of ARVs have regular access to them. Without a source of income, children are particularly vulnerable.  Many of these children have turned up in the streets of Kampala, to try and eke out a living by begging, doing menial jobs or stealing. The lucky few have been taken in by charities and foster families.

But those without assistance of any kind are a disturbing majority.  Isabirye Hassan, a councillor in Kampala City Council, says the capital’s streets have been taken over by street children who engage in crimes like pickpocketing and prostitution.  Once in a while the city council rounds up street children and takes them to Kampiringisa rehabilitation centre where they receive training and counselling. However, with a high unemployment rate in the country, many of them return to the streets soon after they are discharged.

Uganda: Busia Leaders Team Up to Address Sex Trade, Street Children

Patrick Jaramogi, The New Vision, Kampala, 23 January 2008

[partially accessed 3 August 2011 - access restricted]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The influx of Kenyan refugees following the election violence has fuelled sex trade among under age girls in the district.  The Ugandan girls aged between 11-18 years are a big attraction to many. "They charge as low sh500 for sex per hour," said a resident. The looming sex trade coupled with the influx of street children has prompted the Government and Busia district leaders to seek solutions to avert what they described as "a looming crisis".  Busia district probation officer, Julius Ogalo said there are at least 400 street children in the municipality alone."Most of these street children are Karimojongs who come to engage in petty business and smuggling along the border," he said. sccp

A Canadian 'mother' for six Ugandan kids

The Vancouver Sun, January 10, 2008

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

She learned the six unrelated children had been living on the street, begging as a group for six months. Only one of them had a living parent, a mother whom Travers later helped locate, while the rest of them were alone. And she learned that the children didn't want to be separated, something they faced if they went to one of the shelters in the area.

Grim Future for War Orphans

Caroline Ayugi - International Justice - International Criminal Court ICC, Asia Child Rights ACR Issue 143, 25 Feb 2008

[accessed 2 August 2011]

Orphans still living in refugee camps, where they often struggle to get by, are worried about what will happen to them when they eventually have to leave.  Scovia Akello, 16, sitting in front of her dingy hut at Koch Goma refugee camp in Amuru, said she was concerned about what she could feed her hungry brothers and sisters.

"There is no food and I don't have money. I don't know what we shall eat today. I have four other sisters, and seeing them hungry [plays on] my nerves even more."  Akello does not know where she and her sisters will go once the refugee camp where she lives finally closes. She knows little about her home village or her relatives.  "My mother once said our village is in Olwiyo, but I don't know where the village is. I don't even know anyone there, not even where our home was once located,” said Akello. sccp

Uganda: True Vine Ministries Gives Street Children Lifeline

John A. Emojong, Tororo, The Monitor (Kampala), 27 October 2007

[accessed 9 January 2017]

One of the recent projects undertaken by the organisation was the rehabilitation and return of street children to school under a programme managed by Smile Africa Ministries, a Tororo based Christian Organisation.  The Executive Director, Smile Africa Ministries, Pastor Ruth Kawa said at least 293 children had been picked from the streets and rehabilitated before being sent back to school.

Let us reach out to the suffering street kids

Jennipher Taber, The New Vision, 16th August, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Hauling water, firewood, eating from garbage bins on the streets and sniffing glue, such is the life of a street child in Kampala. No chance for an education, no escape from the cycle of poverty, no hope and (oftentimes) no parents. Who is working on behalf of this child?  NGOs do a lot of work with orphans and HIV positive children, but there seems to be a much smaller number working with street children to deal with the root cause of the phenomena.

Uganda: Beggars, Street Children a Burden in the City

Andrew Nkurunziza, The Monitor (Kampala), 19 July 2007

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Over the years the number of beggars and street children on Kampala streets has grown tremendously.  Most of these unprivileged people come from upcountry in hope of better life in the city but end up on the streets.

The beggars and street children are common on Kampala Road, the Constitution Square, the traffic lights in Wandegeya and Shoprite Super and near Sheraton Hotel.  They are mainly children aged 3-18, disabled and surprisingly able bodied adults. There are physically handicapped beggars and those afflicted by leprosy.

Others are mothers who strategically place their children to beg as they monitor from a far. The other group is of young boys and girls aged 10-15. These are lone rangers commonly referred to as street children and to compliment begging, they engage in petty theft.

Who is Luring Karimojong Children Back to Streets?

Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa & Robert Mwanje, Kampala, The Monitor (Kampala), 28 June 2007

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The number of street children in Kampala had reduced in the past five months but it seems they are returning.

The government and KCC recently launched a campaign to take street children and beggars off the streets in preparation for the Chogm in Kampala in November. However, the process has not been without hurdles.

But what lures the children back to the streets?

People who act as Good Samaritans and donate money and food to the children have apparently frustrated efforts to relocate them.

Last year, KCC promised to pass a by-law criminalalising the giving of money or other items to street children but the law is yet to come.

Jinja urges govt over street children

Charles Kakamwa, The New Vision, 17th June, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Muzusa was responding to complaints raised by the business community about the street children.  “They consume alcoholic substances, move with sharp objects such as knives and threaten us but the Police and leaders in the town are doing nothing about this problem,” said Francis Katumba, the Napier Market traders’ chairperson.  Muzusa however blamed the business community saying some encourage children to remain on the streets by employing them.

Children's Activities

Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) Uganda

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP - CRO believes that through formal education, street children will be able to live an independent life, support their families and also contribute to the development of their communities.  CRO supports children in school by paying school fees and uniforms. Parents/ Guardians are encouraged to provide books, pens and pencils.

VOCATIONAL SKILLS - The older street children who are not able to join formal schools are attached to local artisans to train on the job in skills of their choice for a period of one year.  CRO pays the trainer's fees and training material. Regular monitoring of the training is done to ensure children attend the trainings. At the end of the training, the trainees are supported with starter-up tools to enable them become productive and independent.

News in brief...

The New Vision, 30th April, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

[scroll down]

FORMER STREET KIDS GRADUATE - Over 150 former street children graduated on Friday after being rehabilitated and trained in vocational skills by Friends of Children Association, a charity. “As a way of empowering these youths economically and making them self reliant, we trained them in motorcycle mechanics, motor mechanics, hairdressing, tailoring, carpentry, and welding for a period of one year,” said Namara Sabakaki, the charity’s programme manager, at the mayor’s gardens. The children were mainly picked from the slums of Katwe, Kisenyi, Kasubi in Kampala and Ggulu ward in Mukono district. She thanked the other partners like Solidarity Foundation and the World Food programme.

Sh2.16b sought for child protection

Chris Ocowun, The New Vision, 22nd April, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The district child protection coordinator, Joseph Kilama, urged charities to address the problem of street children.  “We never had street kids before but today, they are over 60. Some of them have guns, while others have cocaine.”

Bringing a rare smile to sick, homeless kids

Mary Anne Ross, The Sentinel, Spotswood, March 15, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

The group traveled around the country, visiting orphanages, setting up one-day medical clinics and working with the children who fend for themselves in the slums of the capital city, Kampala.

The first orphanage they visited was the Sanyus baby home.  "The babies brought there were found on the road, or in latrine pits or outside the hospital," Pokrywa said. Conditions were not what one would expect in the United States.

"There were about 50 babies and toddlers. The floors were filthy. None of the children had shoes and most did not have diapers," she said. The 12 volunteers spent the day taking care of the children - holding them, feeding them, bathing them. "They seemed starved for a human touch. They just clung to us," Pokrywa said.

Ridding Kampala City of Karimojong Street Children

Ben Simon, Moroto, The Monitor (Kampala), March 4, 2007

[accessed 9 January 2017]

An estimated 700 Karimojong, primarily women and children, who had been begging on the city streets of Kampala have now been returned to Moroto. A group of 395 travelled on February 14 and the rest travelled Wednesday.  There is no easy answer to explain how and why these people ended in Kampala.  Clearly the region’s entrenched problems - food insecurity, a culture of violence and a harsh climate - made leaving the least bad option.

Summit displaces Uganda street children

Sarah Grainger, BBC News, Kampala, 21 February 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

STREET LIFE - One of them is 10-year-old Nabale Amuye.  She came to Kampala with her aunt three months ago to make some money.  But her aunt left her there.  "I ate leftovers from the market like the potatoes that fell down and nobody noticed.  And I lived in a house with eight other people," she says.

Soroti street kids rounded up

John Omoding and Salume Among, The New Vision, 15th February, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

Following a public outcry, the Police in Soroti have rounded up over 20 street children. The district Police commander, Sam Musisi, said they were found on verandas and corridors where the majority of them sleep.   “The public has been accusing them of gang raping women, snatching phones and beating people at night.”

Should prostitution be legalised?

Emmanuel Kihaule, The Guardian, Kampala, 12 Feb 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

`50,000/- For a lover` read posters that are found almost all over Kampala city in Uganda. The posters are allegedly put by prostitutes at night with the help of street children in their attempts to get `customers`.

NGO protests K’jong street kids relocation

Harriette Onyalla, The New Vision, 8th February, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 9 January 2017]

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.

The Dawn of Peace

Masumba David,, January 29, 2007

[accessed 3 August 2011]

The war between the LRA and the Ugandan government ended in 2006, yet many Ugandans still live homeless, naked, and traumatized by the war. Many beggars on the streets of Kampala are from northern Uganda with little hope of survival on the harsh, polluted streets, where no one pays any attention to them. Children run up to you in the street and say "Uncle, mpako ku sente" ("Uncle, give me some money"). The money they get is taken by the stronger ones, and the younger ones are turned into stone-hearted children with no love or human feelings. When a fight breaks out among these homeless, displaced people, it is savage. Many have survived from rubbish or by fellow friends in the streets of Kampala. The street children are not the only people who have been displaced by the war in the north of Uganda. Hawkers and old women who sleep and sit on the streets selling sweets to passersby are from the north of Uganda with nowhere to go and no one to turn to.

The Redeemed Africa - History

The Redeemed Africa

[accessed 11 Aug  2013]

David Kyambadde, a Ugandan, and his wife, Aimee, an American, took fifty street children from Kampala, Uganda, into their home and made a family. Calling them Home Again, Uganda, because they once had homes, lost them, and now they had a home again, the boys were rehabilitated and rejoined society as members of a family, not “street” or “orphaned” children privileged to be pitied.

Woman MP starts children’s project

Maria Nakitto and Rehema Aanyu, The New Vision, 22nd December, 2006

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 10 January 2017]

THE Government is concerned by the increasing number of street children in Kampala.  Gender minister Syda Bbumba on Thursday said: “It is a growing concern for the Government that there has been an astonishing influx of street children and families on the streets of Kampala.”

Street Children Turn to Sex Workers

Aliga Issa, Masaka, The Monitor (Kampala), November 29, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

THE majority of street children in Masaka have turned into prostitutes and homosexuals. The Manager of Buddukiro Children’s Agency, Kassim Wamono revealed during a press conference at the offices of South Buganda Journalists Association in Masaka on Nov 20. "Street children come from poor families and so they resort to sex trade in towns for survival," he said.

WFP denies 'encouraging' street children in Uganda

Charles Kazooba, African News Dimension AND, Kampala, September 15, 2006

[accessed 10 January 2017]

The legislators were also unhappy that the street children if not cleared off the streets would create a negative image of Uganda prior and during the Commonwealth Heads of State Meet to be hosted by Kampala in November next year.

“WFP help us and desist from feeding those street children, CHOGM is on the way. We are trying to get them off the streets. But if you decide to feed them, do you think those kids will get off the streets?” MP Edward Bwerere Kasole wondered.

It Could Be Illegal to Donate to Street Kids

Diana Lule, The New Vision (Kampala), July 17, 2006

[accessed 10 January 2017]

Kampala City Council will soon pass a bylaw making it a criminal offence to give money and other items to street children, the city probation officer, Dan Mujjukizi, has said.  Mujjukizi said, while the Children’s Act 2000 makes it illegal for children to be on the streets, the people who donate money and food to them were making efforts to relocate the children difficult.

Parents blamed for street kids

Joel Ogwang, The New Vision, LUGAZI, March, 2006

[accessed 3 August 2011]

[accessed 10 January 2017]

Lugazi Diocese Bishop Mathias Sekamanya has blamed street and orphaned children on parents.  He said some parents spent more time in bars than with their children.  Sekamanya criticised parents who dressed indecently, saying they were not exemplary.

Information about Street Children - Uganda [DOC]

This report is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for East and Southern Africa on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 11- 13 February 2002, Nairobi, Kenya

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

51% of the population is under 18; number of street children is estimated at 10,000; underlying causes of children’s problems in Uganda include armed conflicts, diseases (HIV/AIDS), lack of education, inadequate services and entrenched poverty.

Childhoods in Uganda Being Lived in the Street

Marc Lacey, The New York Times, March 24, 2002

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Aposi Lakwemwe considers himself one of the poorest people in one of the poorest countries.  All he owns is hanging on his lanky frame, a torn T-shirt and a too-small pair of jeans. Plus there is his slab of cardboard, which is the only thing that separates his body at night from the cold pavement.  ''Nobody's poorer than me,'' he says with a hazy look in his eyes, the result of hours of sniffing aviation fuel. ''How can they be? I don't have anything. I don't have a mother. I don't have a home. I don't have anything.''

But Aposi, 16, has plenty of competition when it comes to desperation, especially among the thousands of street children who haunt the business district here, as others do in many African capitals, begging and robbing their way from one day to the next.

Adoption Now! - The Work In Uganda

Adoption Now

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

People think that it is poverty and AIDS that causes Ugandan children to leave home, but the problem goes beyond that.  I have gone to rich families and have found out that they have lost kids to the streets, and seen that those children who have remained at home are miserable.  What they seek is *Self-esteem, *Meaningful time and conversation with someone they can trust and model, *Love, *A sense of belonging, *A sense of importance, *A sense of family.  They need all the things that they were deprived of at home.

A New Dawn, a New Beginning in Uganda [PDF]

The World Scout Foundation, Geneva Switzerland, March 2002

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Recruiting young people directly from the street, Victoria and her team quickly established the ground rules: a “Scout” contract between the kids and the team. With a letter of Scout membership, these kids were no longer harassed by the authorities when they were going about their daily business. With the influence of the Scouts Association, each kid has free health referral through the government health system. And with the sheer logistics of daily life for a “family” of 20 children and one adult, the importance of the shared responsibility using the Scout method became clear to all. There were a couple of drop-outs early on, but the majority have stayed. And the 20 or so kids working on the farm now own and sell what they produce, and live and work under their own management team.

What is RYDA? [RTF]

Rubaga Youth Development Association Document 2001

[accessed 3 August 2011]

STREET CHILDREN - RYDA operates one of one of the largest street children skills training in Uganda. The program assists children to gain the skills, and supports their need to be reintegrated successfully in the community.  Upon entering the center, the children sign a social contract.  They receive food, health care, clothing and shelter in exchange for participation in RYDA's educational programs (formal, non-formal and vocational skills training).  The children also have to work towards reintegration.

Vocational Training Of Orphans And Street Children

International Care & Relief ICR

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

The orphans attend vocational training workshops where funds have been spent on tools and equipment, technical assistance, training activities and educational materials. This means that they can gain the skills necessary to get decent paid work and provide for themselves.  With the incentive of receiving nourishing food, regular attendance by the children is secured.

The Baaba Project

Monica Nyakake, Baaba Project Manager, GOAL Uganda

[accessed 3 August 2011]

AIMS & OBJECTIVES - The goal of the project is that the street children will be able to exercise their rights to sexual and reproductive health within an environment where information and services are freely accessible and their rights are respected by the community and its members. This is based on the premise that street children with increased knowledge, skill and confidence are able to make their own informed choices for a healthier future. The project adopts a variety of strategies including advocacy, capacity building and peer education to achieve this goal.

Harnessing talent: Ugandan street youth using drama to fight AIDS

Kirstin Mitchell, Juliet Oling, Tony Onen, Monica Nyakake & Sarah Manyindo Kihuguru, Sexual Health Exchange. (1):15-6,  2002-1

[ACCESS RESTRICTED – Last accessed 15 October 2012]

[accessed 10 January 2017]

ABSTRACT - Through street and community outreach, HIV prevention clubs and training workshops, an innovative project called the Baabas takes HIV prevention messages to street children, the local community, and local leaders. This GOAL Uganda project seeks to reduce street children's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and sexual exploitation, by providing training, resources and ongoing support to 12 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working with this target group. At the center of the project are 140 so-called Baabas--street youth elected by their peers from participating street children NGOs (in the local language, Luganda, a Baaba is a respected older brother or sister who advises and guides his/her younger siblings). The Baabas are trained in HIV/AIDS and sexual health issues, as well as participatory teaching methods.

Bethesda International

Bethesda International

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Bethesda International exists to restore and uphold hope and a future to the most vulnerable children by providing physical, social and spiritual needs.  Due to their marginalization, the most vulnerable children, have lost all hope.  Bethesda works hand in hand with the government to support the aids orphans, street children, abandoned, and poor children to secure a future for them by providing education, vocational training, and meeting their basic needs.

Kids in Need: An NGO Solution

Christopher Wakiraza, Director, Kids in Need KIN, eJournal USA: Economic Perspectives, May 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

THE LIFE OF A STREET CHILD - To survive, each child in the gang had to work very hard. Some provided sex to adults for food or a pittance; others carried heavy loads, sold drugs, or participated in organized crime.

A Future for Street Children in Uganda?

Caritas Australia Newsletter, Autumn 2001

[accessed 3 August 2011]

AKOLUMOGEN'S STORY - 15 year old Akolumogen miserably recalls his first days on the streets:  "Food was getting scarce each day that we began. Left alone after my parents' death, I had to fend for my well-being. All the heads of cattle that my old Papa had left me had dropped off one by one and now there was nothing to feed on.  This prompted me to move to Kampala where I thought I would survive with less difficulty.

Adoption Now! - Caring For Orphans And Street-Children In Uganda

02 November 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 August 2011]

Uganda has an estimated 1.7 million orphans, the highest number in the world, and 25 percent of all households look after at least one child orphaned by either HIV/AIDS or war.  The number of street children in Uganda has increased dramatically over the last two decades. They spend most of their time, day and night, on the street - begging, stealing, using drugs or prostituting themselves to survive.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 2 January 2011]

[4074] A 1999 study estimated that 5,000 children beg, wash cars, scavenge, work in the commercial sex industry, and sell small items on the streets of Kampala.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Approximately 35 thousand children, known as "night commuters", traveled from conflict areas or IDP camps each night to urban centers to avoid abduction by the LRA. In September the UN estimated that nearly 9 thousand children commuted nightly into Gulu town and 10,847 commuted in Kitgum. During the year the government cooperated with NGOs to establish shelters for such children in tented dormitories and other semi-permanent structures; in other cases children slept under balconies or on the grounds of schools, churches, and hospitals. Conditions ranged from harsh to adequate. There were credible reports that many displaced girls became involved in prostitution.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] In urban areas children sold small items on the streets, were involved in the commercial sex industry, worked in shops, or begged for money.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2005

[accessed 9 March 2011]

[71] The Committee is deeply concerned at the increasing number of street children, especially in Kampala and other major urban centers, who are victims of, inter alia, drug abuse, sexual exploitation, harassment and victimization by members of the police force. It is gravely concerned at the fact that society considers such children as dangerous people and a burden for the society.

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