“Where Do You Want Us to Go?”: Abuses against street children in Uganda

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Human Rights Watch

Uganda has one of the largest populations of young people in the world: over 56% of its population of 37 million people are under the age of 18, over 52% are under the age of 15. The number of children living on the streets but the total number of street children is unknown.

Street children face a number of risks: abuse and brutality from police, officials, and older street children; starvation and illness; the criminal element and work in hazardous conditions. This report is based on interview with more than 130 current or former street children in seven towns across Uganda. This report looks at the conditions under which they live, which are harsh, bleak and often violent.

Key recommendations are made to the Government of Uganda, to each relevant ministry in turn. Recommendations are also made to the Uganda police force as well as to Uganda’s international partners. The task of providing street children adequate care – and halting the harsh and violent treatment against them – is seen as a communal enterprise, dependent on cooperation and contributions from every sector of society. 

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