Covid19 worsened violence against children, says youth minister Nakiwala

The Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, Wednesday commended the National Child protection Working Group for the continued collaboration with the department of Youth and Children Affairs in organizing the annual national learning events on Child wellbeing.

The minister’s speech was delivered by Mr. Tollea Franco, Assistant Commissioner Children Affairs at the opening of the “2020 National Virtual Learning event on Child Wellbeing” organised by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

She said it was evident that learning on children work has progressed.

The Government of Uganda approved the National Child Policy in June 2020 to replace the National Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children Policy 2004.

The new policy scope is comprehensive addressing the 4 cardinal rights of children and as well as the strand of strengthening systems for Child wellbeing.

“As we celebrate the new Policy for its holistic outlook on a child, at the same time we need to reflect on the current effect of COVID-19 on the lives of Uganda’s children; providers of children services across the public and private spheres; and gain an in-depth understanding of the magnitude of issues at hand and define practical solutions to facilitate implementation of the new policy,” Nakiwala noted.

“This learning event is therefore fundamental in bringing us together as children stakeholders to reflect, share experiences and learn what is feasible and not as we start on the journey of implementing the national Child Policy 2020.”

She was particularly pleased to note that the key note address was structured around addressing Violence against Children which is a growing problem in the country since the onset of COVID-19.

She thanked the Key note Speaker Ms. Stella Ayo-Odongo, who is currently coordinating the African partnership to end Violence Against Children based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She also appreciated other key speakers who have given their time to present at this learning event on various sub themes notably Birgithe Lund-Henriksen of UNICEF Uganda; Dr. Janestic Twikirize  of Makerere University; Sayson Rossette Meya of CIG UKAID; Patrick Onyango Mangen of REPSSI Regional Office; and Dr. Gorretti Nakabugo   of UWEZO Uganda as well as development partners.

“It is my earnest hope that with the National Child Policy in place, future learning events will go deeper to bring experiences and lessons on the progress in implementation five pillars of the policy.”

She said in this way, stakeholders shall all be involved in tracking and shaping the strategies for achieving the policy commitments on child wellbeing across sectors and levels.

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