The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has asked legislators and civil society to focus on the cause of street children before they can solve the problem.
Oulanyah was speaking at breakfast meeting on street children between Members of Parliament and civil society organisations held at Parliament Building on Thursday 26 April 2018.
The meeting was also attended by Dwelling Places and Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE), Police and the Transport Licensing Board.
Oulanyah said there is need to address the factors driving children to go to the streets.
“The issue here is children moving to urban centres from villages and these are divided into; those who do it by themselves and those who are deceived and persuaded into it,” he said, adding that, “With proper study of these aspects we can devise a solution.”
The Deputy Speaker attributed the problem of street children to poor government programmes, family systems and laws.
“Let us deal with the problem from the source because involving the Police, bus operators and the Transport Licensing Board or even chasing the children off the street does not help,” he said.
He further noted that the problem of street children should be handled from a policy perspective, budgetary allocations and crafting laws to cater to the problem.
Hon. Bernard Atiku (Ind., Ayivu) said that most of the children on the street in Kampala are from Buganda and Karamoja.
“These children come on the bus and we have been engaging some of the bus operators to curb this. Some operators are reluctant as they are after the money,” said Atiku.
He said that they had decided to involve the Police and the Transport Licensing Board to prevent children from ending up onto buses to Kampala streets.
During the plenary sitting on Thursday, Atiku moved a motion to commemorate street connected children, a day which is observed on 12th April every year.
“This day is aimed at giving millions of street connected children a voice and drawing to the attention of the governments and civil society an issue that has been ignored for a long time,” he said.
Atiku added that commemorating the day seeks to clarify the objection of states on applying child rights approach towards children on the streets and to promote and protect the rights of these children among other things.
The Deputy Speaker deferred debate on the motion to the Wednesday 2 May, 2018.