Target: President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni
Goal: Stop police harassment and provide street children with shelters, education, and medical access
Children in the streets of urban Uganda are suffering from homelessness and violence that is perpetuated by the police. Many of these children do not have shelters, nor do they have access to education and medicine. The police need to be held accountable for their actions, and the rounding up of street children needs to stop.
Homeless children face a slew of obstacles while living on the streets. Many have been beaten and harassed by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). These police members will exploit the children for money, and have detained them during round ups. In these cells, children are forced to clean the cells and are further beaten and harassed by the police. Other children are harassed by government officials, older members in the community, and older children. These children are also sexually assaulted or given drugs.
Unfortunately, children are the largest demographic in Uganda living in poverty. Interviewed by Human Rights Watch, these children speak of the fear they have for the police, who use whips, batons, and wires to punish them. Children will often hand over what meager amount of money they made that day to ensure they don’t get punished in the future. Those that are sent to jail—often for committing a petty crime, or for no reason at all—are incarcerated with other adults who also mistreat the children. Unfortunately, the police suspect that children are responsible for petty crimes like theft, and often target them without proof that they even broke the law.
The police need to stop rounding up children, and those that are harassing them should be held accountable for their actions. These children have no home, and being the largest demographic living in poverty, the government should take pity on them. Urge the President of Uganda to begin construction of homeless shelters for children, and provide them with access to education and medicine.
Dear President Yoweri Museveni,
Your police force habitually harass, beaten, and detain the street children of Uganda. These children are homeless, and are not only subjected to the weather, but also to police brutality. It baffles me that no one wants to help these children, and instead considers them to be pests.
I demand better treatment for these children, and that starts with the police force being held accountable for harassing the kids. The police should be protecting these kids, not exploiting them. The children should also be taken to shelters, where they are out of the elements and away from people who could harm them. They should be given access to education and given medical care if it is required. As the leader of Uganda, you should ensure that all people are being taken care of, and that includes the children.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BanyanTree via Wikimedia Commons