Prosecution Targets Child Exploitation: Five Adults Face Charges for Involving Children in Street Begging in Kampala

In a significant move towards safeguarding the rights and well-being of vulnerable children, five adults have recently faced prosecution for involving children in street begging within Kampala. 

The accused individuals appeared before the City Hall magistrate court on August 11, where they were charged with violating the Kampala Capital City Child Protection Ordinance 2022.
The ongoing court proceedings have been adjourned, with the accused individuals set to appear before the court again on August 30, 2023.
The enforcement team’s proactive efforts led to the arrest of these individuals from various locations across Kampala. 

The swift action taken by the authorities not only brought these wrongdoers to justice but also ensured the immediate rescue of a juvenile caught in this exploitative practice. The young child was promptly placed in the Naguru remand home for safety and was later transferred to the MLISADA Nsambya children’s home, where they can receive proper care and support.

The ordinance, enacted to combat child exploitation, specifically criminalizes the act of using children for begging or soliciting alms in public spaces, buildings, offices, or commercial establishments. This progressive law emphasizes the authorities’ commitment to curbing child trafficking, abuse, and exploitation.

During the court proceedings, it was underscored that individuals are prohibited from profiting off the earnings generated by children engaged in begging. The court’s stern stance on these offenses highlights the seriousness of the issue and the necessity of safeguarding the rights of children.

Those found guilty under the Kampala Capital City Child Protection Ordinance 2022 could face imprisonment for up to six months or be required to pay a fine of two currency points, equivalent to approximately UGX 40,000. This strict legal framework aims to deter exploitation and ensure that those who exploit vulnerable children are held accountable.

The ordinance also empowers the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to rescue children found begging or soliciting on the streets. It addresses indirect forms of child exploitation as well, including cases where children are used to solicit alms while being propelled in a wheelchair.

Furthermore, the comprehensive approach of the ordinance extends to activities that encourage children to remain on the streets. This includes distributing items such as food, money, or clothing to children on the streets, as well as luring children away from the streets only to return them for group activities.

This prosecution sends a powerful message that child exploitation and begging will not be tolerated under the Kampala Capital City Child Protection Ordinance 2022.