Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development reports an increase in sexual violence against children since March from 20.1% to 40% by the month of July, with fathers being the worst perpetrators during the lockdown.
According to the commissioner youth and children affairs Fred Ngabirano, the data collected and analyzed during the period of the lockdown from the people that used the Sauti 116 national child helpline, of the 3,673 cases of abuse reported, fathers were perpetrators in 43% of them.
The data indicates that fathers and unrelated male adults made up to 77% of the perpetrators compared to the mothers that had 569 cases of abuse of children in the lockdown between the period of January and September.
Ngabirano says with these high numbers of abuse involving parents, the government now has to ensure that they focus on issues of parenting at the community level.
He adds that cases of sexual and physical violence and child neglect dominated hence noting that children are still vulnerable and need protection from the communities around them.
Ngabirano however notes that the Sauti 116 national child helpline is just one of the many sources where cases of abuse against children are reported.
According to Ngabirano’s report, the child helpline received over 199,000 calls in the lockdown with 57% of the callers being males and 43% females while children made about 12% of the total calls.
Ngabirano adds that not only the reported cases through the child helpline in the COVID 19 lockdown are affecting the rights of children but also other issues like child poverty that is also reported to be on increase by the UNICEF –Uganda report 2018 and this puts children at the risk of having early marriages.