WAKISO – Joining Forces, a consortium of six child rights organisations, has on Friday launched a social behavioural change campaign aimed at reducing physical violence against children.
With support from the European Union, the nine-month multimedia campaign will target parents and caregivers, enabling them to adopt non-violent parenting methods.
Currently, physical violence is one of the most common form of violence experienced by children in Uganda. It is also one of the most reported forms of violence. For instance, last year it made 27% of all cases reported to the Uganda Child Helpline. Further, a report released by Joining Forces last year indicated that almost 66% of children interviewed reported an increase in physical or emotional violence from their caregivers in the month leading up to December 2020.
“These statistics should worry us all and motivate us to join hands and end this form of violence. They also reveal that there is an overwhelming need to provide practical support to parents and caregivers so that they can provide nurturing care and support to children. This need inspired the creation of the Hands4Good campaign,” says Dragana Strinic, Save the Children Country Director.
Under the tagline “Hands4Good”, the campaign calls on all parents and caregivers to use their hands to nurture, support, and guide children instead of using them for violence. With special focus in 6 districts; Gulu, Obongi, Kampala, Wakiso, Busia and Bugiri, the campaign will work with community champions of non-violent parenting. The champions will support their communities to work towards ending physical violence, identify children at risk of physical violence, and ensure that these children access services that will provide the support they need. The campaign will also popularise the Parenting Without Violence methods which support parents and caregivers to gain increased understanding of child development and how to use positive discipline with their children. As a result, children will be able to thrive in safe and loving environments.
Ms. Dragana said that if you ask any adult in Uganda, almost all of them will say that they have experienced one or more forms of physical violence in their childhood.
“The sad reality is that many of them believe that it is the only and best way to discipline a child. There are many belief systems and sayings- I am sure the audience here can think of a few- that are often used to justify violence against children. Ladies and gentlemen, today we want to say that there is no justification for violence against children. We can discipline our children without inflicting pain on them. We can use non-violent methods that will build trust and a good relationship between a parent and a child, rather than causing harm and ruining their self-confidence.”
She called upon the members of parliament to make corporal punishment unlawful in Uganda’s homes, just as it is unlawful in schools, saying that it will greatly contribute to achievement of children’s right to protection and healthy development.
She lauded the European Union for their support, the Government of Uganda, for their continued dedicated efforts to protect children, Joining Forces partners and all of you for taking this step towards our shared goal, ending violence against children.
About Joining Forces Consortium
Joining Forces is a consortium of six organisations including Child Fund Alliance; Plan International; Save the Children International; SOS Children’s Villages International; Terre des Hommes International Federation, and World Vision International.