National Children Authority
The National Children Authority (NCA) was established in May 2016 by the Children (Amendment) Act 2016 No. 9 “to provide a structure and mechanism, which will ensure proper co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of policies and child rights programs relating to the survival, development, protection and participation of the child and for other connected matters”.
The Vision is A Uganda where Children’s Rights and responsibilities are observed and fulfilled by all and Mission of the Authority is Contribute to the improvement of quality of life of the Children of Uganda through protection of children rights while the Goal of the Authority is Increase planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of implementation of child survival and development, child protection, and child participatory Laws, Policies and Programs at all level
2. The functions of the Authority are to:-
(a) Advise the Government on the formulation of a National Child Protection Policy and Child Rights Programmes;
(b) Create a awareness, on the right of a child to be protected from abuse and develop methods of preventing child abuse;
(c) Consult the relevant ministries, local authorities, districts and divisional, public and private sector organizations and recommend all such measures as are necessary, for the purpose of preventing child abuse and for protecting and safeguarding the interests of the victims of such abuse;
(d) Recommend legal, administrative or other reforms required for the effective implementation of the national policy for the prevention of child abuse;
(e) Monitor the implementation of laws relating to all forms of child abuse;
(f) Monitor the progress of all investigations and criminal proceedings relating to child abuse;
(g) Recommend measures to address the humanitarian concerns relating to children affected by armed conflict and the protection of such children, including measures for their mental and physical well-being and their re-integration into society;
(h) Take appropriate steps where necessary for securing the safety and protection of the children involved in criminal investigations and criminal proceedings;
(i) Receive complaints from the public relating to child abuse and where necessary, to refer such complaints to the appropriate authorities;
(j) Advise, co-ordinate and assist the government and local authorities, and nongovernmental organizations in campaigns against child abuse;
(k) Prepare and maintain a national data base on children;
(l) In consultation with the relevant ministries and other authorities, supervise and monitor all religious and charitable institutions which provide child care services to children;
(m) Conduct, promote and co-ordinate, research in relation to child abuse and child protection;
(n) Provide information and education to the public regarding the safety of children and the protection of the interests of the child;
(o) Engage in dialogue with all sections connected with tourism with a view to minimizing the opportunities for child abuse;
(p) Organize and facilitate workshops, seminars and discussions, relating to child abuse;
(q) Liaise and exchange information with foreign Governments and International organizations, with respect to detection and prevention of all forms of child abuse;
- RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS FOR THE NATIONAL CHILDREN AUTHORITY
Under its strategic interventions, the Authority accomplished the following activities (Policy Monitoring, Capacity-Building, Awareness Raising/Creation, Coordination/Partnerships) in the period:
3.1 Policy Monitoring
a) Conducted independent monitoring of the implementation of the Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Policy.
As mandated by law and provided in the National Integrated Early Childhood Development (NIECD) Policy and Action Plan, the Authority conducted a monitoring exercise on the implementation of the NIECD Policy in 7 District Local Governments. This was aimed at establishing whether the duty bearers in implementing the policy are knowledgeable about both the Policy and Action Plan and are aware of their roles; the initiative also aimed at establishing existence necessary structures at the distinct level and effectiveness in services delivery. This covered the districts of Masindi, Isingiro, Masaka, Busia, Gulu, Arua and Napak. The findings indicated that 95% of district officials where this survey was carried out are knowledgeable of the Policy and the Action Plan. However, there is still need to scale up the dissemination of the Policy and Action Plan at all level to cover the remaining gap..
b) Carried out assessment of the operations/functionality of the Uganda National Child Helpline (Sauti 116)
The assessment was done in 12 districts namely Adjumani, Bugiri, Buhweju, Buliisa, Kabale, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kitgum, Kyegegwa, Mubende, Nakapiripirit and Namayingo. Information was also collected at the national level. An advocacy report was produced after the exercise and is being disseminated to relevant districts.
c) Monitoring the functionality of Family and Children Courts (FCCs) in the Country
The purpose of this assessment was to establish the existence the functionality of Family and Children Courts (FCCs) and make recommendations for strengthening their operations. The National Children Authority (NCA) as per her function of monitoring the progress of all investigations and criminal proceedings relating to children conducted the oversight monitoring exercise and a report has been produced. Magistrates, Probation and Social Welfare Officers, Court Clerks, Community Development Officers, Police in-charge of Child and Family Courts and lawyers among others were interviewed. Responses were received from 24 districts, namely; Agago, Nebbi, Lira, Amudat, Kapchorwa, Mbale, Bududa, Tororo, Kamuli, Mukono, Wakiso, Mityana, Kiboga, Kiryandongo, Kyenjojo, Kibaale, Kabale, Mpigi, Kiruhura, Amudat, Soroti, Kabarole, Masaka and Ntungamo. A report has been produced and engagements to relevant stakeholders are being made.
d) Child Rights Score Card
During the reporting period the Authority produced District Local Governments’ Score-card on Child Rights; Nine (9) selected districts were assessed on their responsiveness to children issues using the scorecard. This exercise was piloted in the following districts: Nakaseke, Luweero, Nakasongola, Gulu, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Kotido and Omoro. The score Card measures district performance in fulfilling the rights of children. Overall, key findings indicated that district Local Governments ranked best in guaranteeing children’s rights to child care health services but still lagged in areas of protection and participation rights of the Child.
e) State of Children Report
The Authority produced the State of the Children Report (2018) with the theme: “Children, Local Governments and the SDGs”. By tracking status of children’s rights in Uganda within the SDGs framework, the Authority assessed the extent to which No child is left Behind. The survey was done in selected districts representing the four regions of the country, namely: Nakaseke, Luwero, Nakasongola, Gulu, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Kotido, Bushenyi, Busia, Mbale, Bulambuli, Katakwi, Yumbe, Lamwo, Omoro, Kabale, Kamwenge and Kayunga. The advocacy report has been produced to help guide Local Governments in mainstreaming children issues in their development plans and budgets.
3.2 Improvement on information sharing with stakeholders
f) Compendium of Child Related Laws and Policies.
A Child Rights Advocacy Handbook/ compendium of Child related laws and policies was produced and dissemination to Local Governments on-going. The main purpose is to have a one reference tool containing an assortment of child protection laws and policies that is useful to child actors.
3.3 Awareness Raising/Creation on Child Rights Programming in schools
g) Formation Child Rights Clubs (CRCs) in Schools
During the period, the Authority has been able to facilitate the creation of forty (40) Child Rights Clubs (CRCs) in Kabale, Wakiso, Jinja, Mayuge, Busia, Lira, and Kampala districts. Establishment of the CRCs will gradually roll out to other districts aimed at strengthening meaningful child participation. There is need for increased technical support/guidance to the schools so that the clubs can effectively function.
h) Child Rights Situational Analysis (CRSA) reports produced and disseminated
The Analysis was undertaken in the districts of Nakaseke, Luwero, Nakasongola, Gulu, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak and Kotido to scale up advocacy on child rights. The findings are meant to inform Local Governments’ planning priorities for children. This was carried out in collaboration with Save the Children International - Uganda.
3.4 Coordination/Collaboration of different actors
i) Stop Child Labour Partners Forum
During the period, NCA conducted a Stop Child Labour Partners Forum meeting for Eastern region held at Mayuge sub-county, it attracted Local Councils (LCs, parents and members from the area Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) aimed at promoting increased networking/collaboration amongst leaders in the promotion of child protection.
j) Commemoration of the Child Centric Days
In the spirit of promoting partnership/networking, the Authority in partnership with MGLSD and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) the Authority was able to participate in the following:
i) As part of the annual commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the Authority carried out seven (7) sensitization pre-awareness raising advocacy meetings with selected community leaders, Local Councils (LCs), teachers and parents at district and sub-county level focusing on their roles/responsibilities in prompting and protecting the rights and wellbeing of children. This was done in the districts of: Wakiso, Kabale, Gulu and Jinja.
ii) Participated in the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) symposium in Busia where a petition to Local Governments was made to consider recruitment of labour officers. The Authority also was part of the D-day commemoration of the WDACL where it provided drinking water to over 1,000 children.
iii) The Authority was also part of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) in Omoro District where it also provided water to over 1,000 children and facilitated the children symposium in Kampala partnership with World Vision.
3.5 Child Rights Governance
k) The Authority conducted a Child Rights Governance Capacity - Building training workshop for 50 primary school teachers drawn from the districts of Busia, Kabale, Wakiso, Jinja Mayuge Lira and Kampala.