Source: allAfrica

Buikwe — Hundreds of girls some as young as ten years at Kiyindi Landing Site in Buikwe District are forced into prostitution to fill the family neglect gap, a study has shown.

The research titled 'A study of community-based child protection mechanisms in a fishing community in central Uganda' conducted by Africhild, an African research centre on children affairs at Makerere University in 2015, reveals that child prostitution is the second highest risk business after child labour in Kiyindi. "Many of these child victims are aged between 11 and 17 years and are out of school.

Although there are older prostitutes, many clients prefer young girls because they charge less. Whereas an adult may charge Shs8,000, a child's 'service' is as low as Shs1,000," the report reads in part.

At night fall, the report adds in part, that "girls wearing short skirts go to disco halls, bars, lodges and film halls and are bought by older men. The younger boys also engage in commercial sex as the buyers, with older sex workers."

The report also adds that adult men tend to like young girls due to their developing breasts and buttocks as these allegedly boost their libido.

Ms Joyce Wanican, the executive director of Africenter, attributed the growing numbers of children engaged in child prostitution to parental negligence. "Many parents leave their children unattended to for long periods of time which exposes them to exploitation...," Ms Wanican noted.

About the study

The study, which was conducted to inform programmes and policies that aim at improving child well-being, involved 152 participants, including adults and children.

One of the community elder quoted in the report said there is a popular place (called Strong Pub) where children freely watch films and attend karaoke shows that are full of vulgarism and nakedness.

"We even have a 10-year-old who entertains the crowd and no one is concerned..," he adds.

The International Labor Organisation (ILO) defines child prostitution as the use of girls and boys in sexual activities, remunerated in cash or in kind. It [child prostitution] is among the numerous acts of commercial sexual exploitation of children .

According to ILO there are 7,000 to 12,000 children involved in prostitution in Uganda.

Although government through the Ministry of Gender developed the National Action Plan on elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Uganda, which forbids involvement of children in commercial sex exploitation, the vice has continued.

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