By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: A new report has shockingly revealed that cases of child sexual abuse in Uganda are skyrocketing in the recent years.
The report titled ‘The Scale, Scope and Context of Sexual Exploitation of Children’ which was compiled by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDL) and released on Tuesday, indicates that the number of sexual exploitation cases in the country have risen from 15,000 in 2014 to 50,000 in 2019. The study highlights cases of rampant trafficking of young girls and the ease with which children can acquire pornographic materials online. The report is a review of different cases of sexual exploitation of children in the country.
The report also looks at all other studies and reports on sexual exploitation in the country. Robert Kasirye, the Executive Director UYDL says the increase in poverty levels which leaves children vulnerable to abusers is partly to blame for the increasing cases. He also says trafficking of children and an influx of refugee children that are not protected have led to the rise in cases of sexual exploitation. “Some of these children cross into Uganda without their parents, which leaves them vulnerable to sexual abusers. These children are easily convinced and recruited into sex work.” The study also indicates that prostitution is the most common type of sexual exploitation faced by children amounting to more than 70 percent of all the cases of sexual exploitation reported.
The 2017 National Violence Against Children report shows that 15 percent of women aged 18-24 have exchanged sex for material gain at some point in their lives. The report recommends amending national laws such as the Computer Misuse Act to enable it address child pornography or exploitation. Kasirye says that “We want government to amend the Computer Misuse Act so that it can address issues of online sexual exploitation.”