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By Godfrey Olukya 20-9-2012

Parents and children rights organizations in Uganda have called for action against the recent increase in reported cases of Child Sexual
Abuse.

‘Many of our children are defiled everyday.’ said Irene Nakato a parent who works in Kampala market.’ Some men defile children below ten years because they think that such children do not have HIV-AIDs’ she added.

The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) has said that it is concerned about the rising incidences of child sexual abuse in the country. In just two weeks, 17 cases of defilement have been reported to their office.

ANPPCAN program officer for information, Marlon Agaba said that despite the fact that the media has also been awash with cases of
child sexual abuse especially defilement and indecent assault, more new and threatening cases of defilement have of recent been reported to them.

She said,’One absurd case is of a 7 year old girl who was defiled and her uterus damaged., She is currently recovering in a Kampala
hospital. Another case is one involving a Pastor in Mukono who was caught in a lodge with a 17 year old girl. What is very disheartening is that most often the perpetrators of these crimes are people who have responsibility over children like parents, teachers, religious leaders and guardians.’

Yesterday two teachers were arrested in eastern Uganda district of Ngora while gang raping a 16 yr old girl in their house. The girl
shouted and was rescued by fellow students who broke into the house catching the teachers red-handed.

Marlon said that the biggest form of child sexual abuse is defilement whose magnitude has remained undesirably high and continues to
threaten the children’s rights to survival, development and protection.

She said that since 2011, a total of 1,363 cases of defilement have been received and followed up by their organization. According to the Ugandan Annual Crime and Traffic/Road Safety Report 2011; 7,690 cases of defilement were reported in 2011.

‘If we are to go by the Police statistics, at least 21 children are defiled everyday in Uganda. These reported cases are however a tip of
an iceberg as many cases aren’t reported due to a multiplicity of factors.’ said Agaba

Bosco Okure, a parent said,’ The high cases of sexual abuse have led to more children contracting HIV/AIDS, and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. It has also increased child pregnancies, early marriages and high school dropout rate. We ask government to make more tough laws with severe punishments in order to fight the vice.’

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