2 min read
29 Jul

In a commendable move to protect the rights of children and combat the alarming rates of child sexual abuse and exploitation, the Arua Central Division Council has passed a groundbreaking bye law. This legislation, which is the result of extensive community consultations involving approximately 800 people, aims to safeguard children from heinous crimes and promote their development and survival rights within households and communities. 

With the bye law in effect, child protection stakeholders will have a regulated framework to take necessary actions against perpetrators and ensure the systematic reporting of abuse cases.

A Closer Look at the Bye Law

Mr. Fred Abibo, a Legal Consultant associated with FIDA Uganda, highlights the gravity of the situation in certain areas of Arua Central Division. Tanganyika and Pangisa wards have become hubs for child sexual exploitation, with women recruiting young children as sex workers. These children are often brought in from rural areas under the guise of providing work opportunities. 

Shockingly, these women have rented rooms where the innocent children are kept, and men engage in commercial sex with them, perpetuating this heartbreaking cycle of abuse.

Additionally, child labor has emerged as a tool for promoting exploitation and criminal activities. Gang groups are using children who sell kavera in the market as spies to monitor potential victims with money. This information is then used to plan and execute robberies. These appalling scenarios underscore the urgent need for the bylaw's comprehensive approach to safeguarding children.

The Councilor's Perspective:

Hon. Tabu Fred, the councilor representing Central Division in Arua City and also serving as the deputy speaker, firmly believes that implementing this bye law will address numerous societal issues.

He stresses that providing children with a strong moral upbringing is crucial for creating a safer city, free from criminality. He also advocates extending the scope of the bylaw to encompass the entire Arua City, ensuring that all children within the region are protected.

Hon. Tabu Fred, Speaking To Dailywestnile.info 

Hon. Oshino Rashid Ejoyi, the councilor representing Bazaar Ward in Arua Central Division, emphasizes the positive impact of this legislation on reducing the number of vulnerable children roaming the town center.

By enforcing the bye law, more children will be encouraged to return to school, thus reducing congestion in urban areas and promoting a brighter future for the younger generation.

Hon. Oshino Rashid Ejoyi, councilor Bazaar Ward in Arua Central Division, Speaking

The Deputy Resident City Commissioner's Optimism

Deputy Resident City Commissioner Ayivu Division, Mbigiti Geoffrey Jona, who represented Arua Resident City Commissioner during the passing of the bye law, believes that this legislation comes at a crucial time. He expresses hope that the bye law will effectively address the pressing challenges within the city and offer protection to vulnerable children who are at risk of exploitation and abuse.

Legal Consequences of Contravening the Bye Law

The newly enacted bylaw outlines penalties for those who violate its provisions. Upon conviction, offenders may be fined up to two currency points, equivalent to 40,000 currency units. For repeat offenders, the penalty may escalate to a fine of 40,000 currency units and community service. These measures aim to deter potential perpetrators and enforce the imperative need to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.


The passing of the byelaw on child sexual abuse and exploitation in Arua Central Division is a crucial step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of children within the community. With a strong focus on child protection and regulating child labor, this legislation promises to create a safer environment for the younger generation to thrive. It is hoped that this progressive initiative will serve as a model for other regions, demonstrating the collective responsibility of stakeholders in protecting children and promoting their rights.

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Author: Igwera Alinda - dailywestnile.info 
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