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TRENDS IN JUVENILE JUSTICE IN UGANDA

The trends in juvenile justice in Uganda lack sufficient data. The police only began to compile such statistics in the year 2008.

Children as Victims of Crime

Crime statistics prior to the year 2008 are scanty due to the lack of computerisation by police. Further, at the time this chapter was being compiled, statistics for the year 2012 were not available. Thus, crime statistics for the years 2008-2014 were acquired and are presented below (Uganda Police, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)

Children as victims of crime. Number of victimisations by crime type

Crime

2008

2009

2010

2011 2012

2013

2014

Child neglect

2628

3126

9293

8075

11,519

11,791

Abuse and torture

660

552

1315

1775

1332

1205

Abduction

188

615

729

771

Child stealing

157

206

301

261

295

216

Abortion

48

72

23

66

555

2578

Child sacrifice/

25

15

14

9

ritual murder

Child desertion

754

1732

1973

3541

3335

Infanticide

46

46

66

82

55

Child trafficking

16

69

187

220

Child kidnap

49

125

1061

1146

Source: Uganda Police Statistics Reports

A bar graph showing the trends of child victimisation from the year 2008-2014 is presented below.

From the graph above, it can be seen that child neglect constitutes the largest proportion of crimes committed against children. According to the police, such a trend is a reflection of widespread poverty as well as society that no longer views children as belonging to the community. From the graph, it can also be seen that child abuse and torture occur at a high frequency. Finally, in 2013, the police noted an increase in child trafficking in the country. A total of 435 Ugandan nationals were trafficked to different countries. Of these, 44 were male juveniles and 36 were female juveniles. The rest were adults.

Kidnapping refers to where a child is taken out of the parent/guardian’s control without the authority of the parent/guardian (S.239 Penal Code Act). Abduction on the other hand refers to where a child is taken out of the control of the parent/guardian by compulsion or deceit with the aim of doing something wrong to the child, e.g. marriage (S 241, Penal Code Act). Child stealing occurs where a child is below the age of 14 years and is taken out of the custody of the parent (S.159, Penal Code Act).

There are children who are injured in accidents which translate into criminal negligence. For example, in 2010, a total of 417 male and 217 female juveniles died in accidents. 968 male and 761 female juveniles were seriously injured in accidents including losing limbs or becoming disabled. 142 males and 111 females were slightly injured. In 2011, 365 male and 265 female juveniles died in accidents. 981 male and 703 female juveniles were seriously injured. 179 male and 141 female juveniles were slightly injured.

 
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