Child Rights, Protection, and Education

Child Rights, Protection, and Education

Karamoja, located in northeastern Uganda, is a region that has faced significant socio-economic challenges for decades. The area is characterized by high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and low access to basic services, including education and healthcare. Children in Karamoja are among the most vulnerable, often experiencing violations of their rights, limited participation and educational opportunities, and insufficient protection from harm. PAHSTA, and various partners have implemented initiatives and programs to promote child rights, protection, and access to quality education for both boys and girls in the region, aiming to create a better future for the young population of Karamoja. 

Child Rights

Promoting child rights in Karamoja involves ensuring that every child enjoys the fundamental rights outlined in international and national legal frameworks, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Ugandan Children Act. Key child rights include the right to survival, development, protection, and participation.

  1. Survival and Development: PAHSTA develops and implements interventions aimed to improve the survival, healthcare and nutrition access, to reduce child mortality, and yet promote their growth and development. We work with state and non state development partners, to provide healthcare services, nutritional support, and clean water to the most vulnerable communities to ensure children’s survival and healthy development.

  2. Protection: Children in Karamoja face numerous risks, including child neglect, labor, violence, and early marriage, and widowhood. PAHSTA’s Programs aimed at protecting children involve community sensitization, legal support, and the establishment of child protection committees. These initiatives work towards creating safe environments where children can grow without fear of exploitation or abuse.

  3. Participation: Ensuring that children have a voice in matters that affect their lives is crucial. PAHSTA‘s interventions strive to encourage child participation programs encourage children to express their views and participate in decision-making processes at the community and district levels. This empowerment helps in building their confidence, and leadership and self-efficacy skills.

Child Protection

PAHSTA‘s Child protection in Karamoja focuses on creating a safe environment where children are free from violence, exploitation, and neglect. This involves:

  1. Legal Frameworks and Policies: Strengthening and enforcing laws and policies that protect children from abuse and exploitation. Training local authorities and law enforcement on child rights and protection is also essential.

  2. Community-Based Approaches: Engaging community leaders, parents, and children in dialogue about the importance of child protection. Community awareness campaigns aim to change harmful cultural practices such as early marriage and female genital mutilation.

  3. Support Services: Providing psychosocial support, counseling, recreational and rehabilitation services for children who have experienced trauma or abuse. Safe spaces and child-friendly centers are established to offer care and support.