Close to three million Ugandan minors risked forced labour either by parents or poor economic living conditions, Uganda's Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Syda Bbumba, revealed.
Minister Bbumba said the revelations were contained in the recent study conducted in the country. Most of Uganda's child labour victims fall between 5 and 17 years.
Bbumba concurred that child labour is a wide-spread phenomen in Uganda where about 2.7 million out of 7.9 young boys and girls are prematurely working. This figure excludeds tens of thousands of children that risked regular household work.
Uganda is among the first sub-Saharan country to face the wrath of HIV/AIDS that killed 1.8 million Ugandans and turned a million children into orphans. Most Ugandan children whose families have been devastated by the global pandemic lost one or both parents.
This situation leaves orphaned children with shouldering heavy parental responsibilities, which include provision of food and basic necessities. Extreme poverty has been mainly blamed for triggering forced child labour.
Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army of Joseph Kony was also accused of using child soldiers to wreck harvoc on communities in northern part of the country.
Kony, who claims to be defending the Ten Commands, is on the wanted list of the International Criminal Court in The Hague on war crimes, including inscription of child soldiers.
The government is stepping up efforts to reduce the number of child labourers. The Museveni administration believed that provision of universal primary education programmes and poverty reduction mechanisms will make a big difference.
Ugandan authorities are expected to reveal their child-friendly policies on 21 June when the world commemorates the International Day Againt Child Labour.
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