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Children in Wakiso speak out

Child Rights Governance

Many children in Uganda do not have what they need to survive, learn and thrive because those with power do not prioritise them, do not listen to them and are not held accountable when they fail them.

We support children to speak out and hold governments and other powerful actors accountable for children’s rights, and advocate for laws, policies and budgets that put children first.

Youth advocate Anena Cynthia Marion delivers a speech against child marriage to local cultural leaders

READ: Where are we now in Uganda? 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ensuring children's right to participate

Children have the right to a say on the issues that affect their lives. Together with UNICEF we supported the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development to develop and launch Uganda's first National Child Participation Strategy. It guarantees children their right to express their views, and to be heard and taken into account by decision makers. We are now working to develop child-friendly versions so that children know their rights.

We have set up children's councils in schools, so that pupils can raise ideas and concerns with the management, and support children's groups to discuss and develop their own solutions to the problems they face. We support children's parliaments and other platforms for children to engage people in power.

READ: Children's Parliament marks Day of the African Child

Supporting youth advocates

We support young people to speak out and campaign for change in their communities, and to hold duty bearers accountable for upholding children’s rights. We provide training on advocacy, public speaking, media engagement, public campaigning, power analysis and other skills to help youth develop their own advocacy strategies on issues such as child marriage, girls' education and reproductive health.

READ: Youth in Gulu campaign for an end to child marriage

Increasing public investment in children

The national budget allocation to child-focused sectors in Uganda remains very low. We work with a range of civil society partners to analyse expenditure on children and advocate for child-focused budgets and greater investment in education, health and protection. We advocate to ensure decisions and actions of the state promote children’s rights, and that laws and policies are actually implemented. 

Promoting gender equality

Many communities have strongly patriarchal systems, and girls and women face a range of challenges and discrimination - from access to education and gender-based violence to child marriage and lack of participation in decision-making. We fight for girls' rights and empower them to speak out, and work with communities and schools to prevent sexual abuse and tackle discrimination.