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Uganda is failing to protect homeless children against police abuse and other violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report called “Where do you want us to go?”. Street children throughout Uganda’s urban centers face violence, and physical and sexual abuse. National and local government officials should put an end to organized roundups of street children, hold police and others accountable for beatings, and provide improved access for these children to education and healthcare.

The 71-page report, “Where Do You Want Us to Go?’ Abuses against Street Children in Uganda,” documents human rights violations against street children by police and local government officials, as well as abuses by members of the community and older homeless children and adults. Police and other officials, including those from the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), have beaten, extorted money from, and arbitrarily detained street children after targeted roundups. In police cells children have faced further beatings and forced labour, including cleaning the cells and police living quarters. On the streets, homeless adults and older children harass, threaten, beat, sexually abuse, force drugs upon, and exploit street children, often with impunity.

“Ugandan authorities should be protecting and helping homeless children, not beating them up or throwing them in police jails with adults,” said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher. “The government should end arbitrary roundups of street children and protect them from abuse.”

Over half of all Ugandans are under 15, and children are the single largest demographic group living in poverty. According to independent groups, local government officials, and police officers from the Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU), the number of Ugandan children living on the streets is increasing, though the total number is not known.

Human Rights Watch interviewed over 130 current and former street children from December 2013 to February 2014 in seven town centres throughout Uganda. Human Rights Watch also interviewed 49 members of organizations providing assistance to street children, health care workers, international humanitarian and children’s organizations, police, and local government officials.

Read more about the abuse inflicted on Ugandan children on

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Strength and Harmonize and Research and Action on Migration
Strength and Harmonize and Research and Action on Migration
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