Gov’t steps up efforts to close illegal children homes

The task force on Street children is set to effect the closure of all illegal children homes and proliferate homes across the country as government moves towards clearing Kampala of street children.

In a June 1 letter to the Inspector General of Police John Martin Okoth Ochola, the State Minister for Youths and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi asked the police to plan ahead of the June 30 deadline given to illegal children’s homes to close, and to work with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to rid the city streets of street children.

“The purpose of this letter therefore, is to inform you of the above and torequest you to support the efforts of the taskforce in implementing the decisions made therein,” Nakiwala wrote.

Ochola instantly directed the Child and Family Protection Unit of the police to liase with all police units including Kampala Metropolitan police to enforce Nakiwala’s request.

Nakiwala’s request to the police comes after a May 30 resolution by the Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social Development in concert with the Ministry for Karamoja Affairs under the Office of the Prime Minister to set up a taskforce on street children.

During the May 30 meeting, the taskforce agreed to close all illegal homes in the country by June 30, and directed all Chief Administrative Officers and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to ensure that the closure be implemented without exception.
There is an estimated 10,000 children mostly from Karamoja on Kampala streets.

Most of the street children are brought to Kampala by their parents to beg which forced the government to launch the “back to home campaign for Karamoja Children.”

The children are to be taken to the newly refurbished reception centres at Masuulita in Wakiso district and Koblin in Moroto district.

Additionally, the Ministry listed some 569 homes which are operating illegally and thus were tasked to validate their licenses or face closure.