Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has accused teachers and parents of negligence, which she said has allowed defilement of school-going children to sprout unchecked.
For teachers, instead of protecting the minors, Kadaga said they top the list of defilers.
“Some of the perpetrators are teachers and head teachers. We need more action on those people because the ethics of the teaching profession doesn’t allow that,” said Kadaga.
Kadaga spoke while receiving a petition from victims of defilement and former abductees by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. The event took place at Parliament, Thursday, 28 June 2018.
The Speaker said parents are in the habit of sending their children out of home during odd, risky hours, which she said facilitates criminal behavior.
In attendance was First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni, who said government alone cannot guarantee the safety of children from defilement and abuse.
“I have always believed that we need to work as a country not just as a government…we need to work with our communities to bring safety and security to our children,” said Ms Museveni.
“There is a role that can only be played by families,” added Ms Museveni.
Itola Dorine, a representative of the formerly abducted girls asked for support to reintegrate them into the local communities.
“We have failed to cope with life; we have failed to go back to school, we request those who have academic scholarships to help us,” said Itola.
Itola, who hails from Kaberamaido, said they continue to suffer stigmatization and uncharitable references, including calling their children ‘rebels’.
The children were fathered by rebels during their abduction.
Rehema Kenzo, the lead petitioner, called the leaders to action.
“The future of girls in this country will continue to be compromised unless we stand up and take action,” she said.
”Speed up the passing of laws on sexual offences and the Marriage Bill to protect women and girls,” Kenzo added.
Internal Affairs State Minister, Hon Mario Obiga Kania cautioned Police officers against mediating in extra-legal negotiations with defilement suspects.
“I am aware there are some police officers who may want to do the role of mediation in cases of defilement. This is criminal; sometimes they do this for monetary gains,” said Obiga.
He instructed the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola to issue a directive to all police units warning them against the vice.
The event was attended by State Ministers Nakiwala Kiyingi and Rosemary Sseninde of Youth and Primary Education respectively.