The Uganda Government has called on international partners to aggressively implement strategies that safeguard children against violence so as to enable the young generation achieve their full potential.

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Janat Balunzi Mukwaya observed that ending violence against children is a child rights issue, a matter of child security and dignity.

“It’s therefore imperative that we rally effort by all stakeholders at international, national and sub-national levels and within the various sectors to ensure that children are protected from violence.” Mukwaya said.

She made the passionate call while delivering a keynote address at “The   Agenda 2030 for Children: End Violence Against Children Solutions Summit” that was held in Stockholm, Sweden last week.

The Summit is organized by The Government of Sweden in partnership with the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the ‘We Protect Global Alliance to end child sexual exploitation online’. In 2015, world leaders acknowledged the severity of epidemic levels of violence against children and committed to end all forms of violence and exploitation of children by 2030 as part the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Agenda 2030.

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The Minister was companied to the summit by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the UNICEF Uganda Representative Ms Doreen Mulenga, the Focal Person for ending Violence against Children Ms. Lydia NajjembaWasula and the Executive Director Uganda Child Rights NGO Network Ms. Stella Ayo Odong.

Uganda participates at the summit as a Pathfinder Country since 2016, a status attained as a result of Uganda’s progressive efforts to end violence against children in fulfillment of the SDG 16.2, which states ‘End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children’.

Uganda’s efforts to end violence against children have been applauded by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the international community and is among the 17 countries around the world championing the cause to end violence against children.

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Mukwaya emphasized the importance of integrating child protection into the broader Social Protection agenda, strengthening multisectoral linkages and mainstreaming ending violence against children initiatives to attract budgetary allocations from the different sectors.

She said there is need to develop a comprehensive case management system which should consider the social welfare workforce to prevent and respond to incidences of violence effectively.

“We should also strive to establish well-coordinated child protection structures and management information systems capable of tracking data of the abused and supported children,” She noted.

The Minister further called for the economic empowerment of vulnerable families targeting most especially the women; mapping of available ending violence against children interventions andmore importantly establishing the cost of not investing in ending violence against children.

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She revealed that Uganda had in 2015 conducted a survey on violence against children that highlighted the forms, magnitude and extent of violence children from all the regions.She said the report will be launched in April 2018 and its findings will be used as a basis for influencing policy, programing and legislative action.

The solutions summit was graced by her Majesty the Queen of Sweden, Queen Sylivia, her Highness Princess Victoria, the Prime Minister of Sweden, and many other dignitaries including the Executive Director of UNICEF based in New York.

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