Uganda's capital Kampala attracts many 'fortune hunters' from rural areas, in search of better opportunities. There is a growing demand for cheap labour and commercial sex; important factors contributing to child trafficking. Almost 40% of the children working in Kampala's informal sector, indicate that they were brought to the capital by child traffickers.
Uganda's child labour prevalence rate stands at 30%. Thousands of these children are involved in the worst forms of child labour, including child labourers in mining and domestic slavery.
Child marriage and teenage pregnancies
National statistics show that 40% of women in Uganda were below the age of 18 at the time of marriage. One in every four girls between 15 and 19 is already a mother or pregnant with her first child. The situation is worse for children under difficult circumstances like children on the move and those living on the streets and/or in extreme poverty.
Reintegration, livelihood improvement and education
Terre des Hommes Netherlands supports victims of child exploitation with rehabilitation and reintegration. Livelihood improvement of the families of these children, ensures that the incentive to child exploitation diminishes. Education is important in protecting and preventing victims and vulnerable children from exploitation; we enable as many children as possible to access education or (depending on their age) vocational training.
Girls Advocacy Alliance
Under the Girls Advocacy Alliance programme in Uganda, we work on awareness and empowerment of girls and young women, to demand respect for and protection of their rights. At community and family level, changes in the negative social cultural values, attitudes and practices are needed to reduce the vulnerability of girls and young women to gender based violence and economic exclusion. To achieve this, we focus on improving the effective implementation of the existing legal and policy frameworks. In addition, we strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to monitor legal and policy implementation, and to effectively engage duty bearers.
Child care institutions
In addition to our work to help and protect victims and vulnerable children against child exploitation, Terre des Hommes Netherlands focuses in Uganda on children growing up in child care institutions. There is an increasing number of children who do not live with families, but in institutions, whereas they are not orphaned. Almost two thirds of the institutionalised children have at least one parent that is still alive.
Avoid growing up in institutions
Every child has the right to grow up with their family, or in a family-like environment. We aim to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children, and to promote various forms of alternative care (for instance through foster care). Together with the government, we also ensure that the quality of residential care is improved.
"I had to do it because I had to survive"
Sarah (16 years) is a victim of sexual exploitation, as well as child trafficking and the worst forms of child labour. Read her story.