Rehabilitate juvenile rehabilitation centres - MPs

Legislators have called upon government to improve the appalling state of juvenile rehabilitation and remand centres across the country.

The discussion arose following a report presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on Equal Opportunities, Hon. Judith Alyek, who highlighted the matter on Wednesday 19, July 2023 during plenary.

Alyek, also District Woman Representative for Kole, said that government needed to improve the living conditions in the remand centres for children and Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre where juveniles are detained.

Hon. Hilary Kiyaga (NUP, Mawokota County North) noted that the state of Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre in Mpigi District, is deplorable and would benefit from renovation and rehabilitation.

He said that the state of its facilities is counterproductive to its sole purpose of existence and asked the government to intervene.

“Children there are supposed to be undergoing rehabilitation in a controlled environment but the centre does not have perimeter wall; this means that children can loiter all over the village,” Kiyaga added.

Mbale City Woman Representative, Hon. Connie Galiwango, submitted supporting the previous speakers saying that government had neglected its responsibility to manage the remand centres for juveniles.

She said, “The remand centre in Mbale is in a dire situation with its occupants lacking enough beddings and clothing with some children wearing clothing that barely covers them”.

Hon. Helen Kahunde (NRM, Kiryandongo Woman) urged government to improve on the facilitation of the rehabilitation centres because it is apparent that most of them rely on the prime minister’s office for food rations meant for relief.

The committee advised that government needs to ratify the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption to mitigate trafficking children and improve monitoring the welfare of children placed under foster care abroad.

Government, the committee also advised, should register all children under the existing laws and make it compulsory for every parent especially through the birth registration process.

Under this, Alyek said that birth registration should be free.

The MPs also advised government to adjust the education system to accommodate children with disabilities in ordinary schools instead of segregating them in special schools.