Cases of ‘child on child’ violence are on the increase in Kabarole district. Children below 18 years are committing crimes against fellow children and nothing has been done to address the problem.
Cases of ‘child on child’ violence are on the increase in Kabarole district.
Children below 18 years are committing crimes against fellow children and nothing has been done to address the problem.
A survey carried out by the district community development department indicates that 40% of children in four sub counties of Buheesi, Mugusu, Kichwamba and Katebwa, have committed crimes against fellow children. According to the report, the crimes are common in the sub counties where some of the juvenile offenders lost their parents during the Allied Democratic Force (ADF) insurgency. ADF rebels launched a brutal armed rebellion against the government between 1996 and 2002.
Some of the crimes committed include rape and assault. In some of the cases, boys aged 17 years rape young girls aged 13-15 years and some of the offenders haven’t been punished.
Records at the Family and Children’s court show that more than fifteen cases of rape and assault have been handled by the court in the past six months.
One of the offenders aged 16 years from Karago in Kichwamba Sub County, was sentenced to community service for one year by the Children’s court for attempting to rape a 12 year old girl.
In an interview, the offender says that was he was forced into the crime by a group of friends whom he was staying with after the death of his parents in 1998. He says that since he dropped out of school, he has been idling and often interacting with criminals who taught him to engage in violence.
Charles Musiime, a child counselor at Bishop Magambo Counseling Institute, who has counseled more than twenty child offenders especially boys, says that some of the children engaged in child on child violence, do so because of being neglected by the community and have nowhere to turn for comfort, other than join bad groups.
Musiime also says that most of the boys he has counseled want to stop engaging in crime, but they have not been supported by the local authorities.
He says that the district should address the plight of the vulnerable children, by engaging them in activities that will occupy them, or else they will pose a threat to the community.
//Cue in: “The problem is big…”
Cue out: “…need to be addressed.”//
Shamillah Kakungulu, the Kabarole district probation officer says that a five year Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project has never been implemented because of lack of funds.
The project estimated to cost 3 billion shillings, with an annual budget of 550 million shillings, was aimed at improving the lives of the OVCs by engaging them in apprenticeship, provide basic needs like food, medical care and also train them to use improved farming technologies and set up 36 demonstration gardens for rice and bananas.
Kakungulu says that the probation office is now looking for financial support from organizations to support OVCs.
//Cue in: “We are not addressing …”
Cue out: “…it will be minimized.”//
child on child violence