2 min read
04 Feb

Child abuse and neglect continue to pose a significant threat to the well-being of children in Arua District and the broader West Nile Region, according to various stakeholders. Reports from the Child and Family Protection Unit based at Arua Central Police Station reveal a disturbing trend, with over 300 cases of child abuse and neglect registered and handled between June and December of the previous year.

Leaders in the district are sounding the alarm, emphasizing the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address this pressing issue. Concerns are particularly heightened given the recent spike in defilement cases, with over five cases recorded in Arua District just last month.

Edward Endraa, the senior probation officer and acting CDO for Arua District, disclosed that defilement cases are currently the leading form of child abuse, with Ajia sub-county showing particularly alarming rates.

"We need to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect in our community. The increasing numbers, especially in defilement cases, are a cause for great concern," warned Endraa.


Christine Driciru, the head of the regional Child and Family Protection Unit stationed at Arua Central Police Station, attributed the rise in cases to parents and guardians overworking children. 

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The need for a collective effort to safeguard children's rights and well-being is paramount, as neglectful parenting contributes to the vulnerability of children.

"We must address the root causes of child abuse, and this includes holding parents and guardians accountable for overworking their children," emphasized Driciru.Walega John Jacob, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Arua District.

 expressed his concern about the night movements of children, blaming parents for allowing their children to roam freely during nighttime. 

He highlighted that such practices make it easier for perpetrators to take advantage of vulnerable children."It is crucial for parents to be vigilant and monitor their children's movements, especially during the night. This will help create a safer environment for our children," urged Walega.


In response to the escalating crisis, Philia Atuzarirwe, the programs manager in the Department of Child Protection, announced a new child protection system set to be implemented from April of this year. 

The system aims to address child abuse cases more effectively and provide a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the welfare of children in Arua District.

"We have developed a child protection system that will come into effect in April. this system will enhance our ability to identify, report, and address cases of child abuse promptly," assured Philia during a stakeholder engagement with Arua District leaders on Thursday.


As the community grapples with the alarming statistics, the proposed child protection system offers a glimmer of hope for a safer and more secure future for the children of Arua District. 

The urgency for collective action remains, with leaders, law enforcement, and community members called upon to work hand-in-hand to eradicate the scourge of child abuse and neglect.

BY Matata Benzamin Dailywestnile.info 
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