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The Employment Act 2006

Section 32 of the Employment Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 12. Further, based on this Act children under the age of 14 years are allowed to be employed for light work under the supervision of adults. No child can be employed in hazardous work and be employed between 7 pm and 7 am. Nevertheless, the law is silent about children above the age of 14 years and the circumstances under which they can be employed.

The Education (Pre-primary, Primary and Post-primary) Act, 2008

This Act orders the state to ensure the safety of children while at school. Parents are responsible for providing children with parental guidance, food, clothing and medical care. The Act makes education a right for everybody, and parents are required to ensure that their children go to school. However, statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2014) show that there is a significant problem regarding the education of children. The data show that by the time children reach the age of primary seven, more than half of them drop out of school. The table below provides an overview of the dropout rates for 2011-2013:

No. of Children in Primary Education Schools

Class

2011

2012

2013

P1

1,839,714

1,877,801

1,883,803

P2

1,272,510

1,284,122

1,307,745

P3

1,266,117

1,291,268

1,312,592

P4

1,276,386

1,299,994

1,317,315

P5

1,068,776

1,118,900

1,138,789

P6

842,043

892,338

920,045

P7

532,631

564,217

579,431

Total

8,098,177

8,328,640

8,459,720

Source: Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2014

Source: Generated by Author from the Data above

An interview with an official from the Ministry of Education reveals that many children drop out of school due to the lack of supplies in the schools, such as food and sanitary pads for girls, and social practices such as early marriages. Currently, there seems to be no immediate government action to address this problem.

 
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