Uganda Launches Violence Against Children Survey Findings

September 14, 2018

On August 9, 2018, the Government of Uganda and its Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development hosted multilateral, bilateral, academic, and civil society partners for the launch of the country’s first-ever Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) Report.

 

“This survey brings to light the widespread nature and problem of violence against children in the country,” the Honorable Hajat Janat Mukwaya, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development stated during her keynote address. “The findings provide crucial evidence that will help guide the government in our policy and programme decisions to better prevent and respond to violence against children across the country in the future.”

 

The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development with support from AfriChild Centre for Excellence, ChildFund, Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Uganda (TPO), Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), as well as PEPFAR, USAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and UNICEF, as part of the Together for Girls Partnership.

Ugandan government officials, civil society partners and multilateral organizations gather for the launch of the country’s first-ever Violence Against Children Survey.
Hon. Rosemary Sseninde, State Minister for Primary Education for the Government of Uganda Cabinet, speaks at the Uganda launch.
Hon. Rosemary Sseninde, State Minister for Primary Education for the Government of Uganda Cabinet, speaks at the Uganda launch.
With the launch of the Government of Uganda's report, Uganda became the 11th country to complete a Violence Against Children Survey and report. To date, 22 countries are at various stages of survey implementation, analysis and response.
Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary of the Government of Uganda's Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development, spoke at the launch.

The Uganda VACS produced the most comprehensive information to date on the magnitude and scope of physical, sexual, and emotional violence experienced by Ugandan children and youth, with data collected from eastern, western, central, and northern Uganda for a more detailed regional breakdown than any preceding VACS.

 

Key findings of the survey reveal the magnitude of violence against children and youth in Uganda:

  • 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males experience sexual violence during their childhood.
  • 1 in 10 girls experienced rape and 1 in 5 reported that her first sexual experience was forced or pressured.
  • For girls who experience sexual violence, the perpetrator is typically someone known to them, most often a neighbor, while for boys the perpetrator is most often a friend.
  • Nearly half of both boys and girls experienced physical violence at the hands of a parent or caregiver and for children and those who experience such violence at the hands of an adult, their first experience was nearly always committed by a teacher.
  • Reported consequences of verbal and emotional violence included increased likelihood of mental distress, suicidal ideation, and, among girls, contracting a sexually transmitted infection.  

While the data showcase the scale of violence of children and youth in Uganda, they will be an instrumental tool as the Government of Uganda and its partners coordinate and implement a national response to prevent and address violence against children and youth.

For more information about the Uganda VACS, check out the country fact sheet or visit the Uganda country page.