Uganda outlaws donations to street children

Begging on the streets of Kampala. /COURTESY PHOTO
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Lawmakers in Uganda have passed a bill making it a criminal offence to offer money, food or a donation to a street child. Violators of this new law could face up to six months in jail or a fine of Shs41,350 (about $11).

The aim of the law is to curb the commercial and sexual exploitation of children.

Kampala Lord mayor, Erias Lukwago, says the law will also penalise traffickers, agents and parents of the children found begging or selling items on the street.
It is not uncommon to see children as young as seven navigate through the traffic selling items or begging.

The government estimates there are as many as 15,000 children between the ages of seven and 17 on the city’s streets, and the number continues to climb.

Some of the children are trafficked from villages and given small rooms in slums by their handlers.

The law also makes it illegal to lease or rent a house to a child for immoral activities or for a child to engage in petty trade.

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