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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Uganda

Posted on Feb 11, 2013

Out of the total population of Uganda, 65% are in a situation of vulnerability due to multiple factors, including poverty, insecurity, disease and conflict. The Government of Uganda has reported that a total of 2.3 million children are orphans, 38% from the war-affected north and 46% nationwide due to AIDS. In the northern region, following the twenty-year long civil conflict between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government, hundreds of children have been separated from their families or have been orphaned by the conflict exposing them to all forms of abuse and violence. Many have been exploited in organised commercial sex operations while others have suffered different kinds of disabilities as a direct result of the war. HIV and AIDS remain among the five major causes of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Uganda. The Ministry of Health estimated that in 2009 there were nearly 150,000 children living with HIV. According to a 2006 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic in Uganda, one in five children (21%) lost their parents due to the disease. The deprivation of parental care due to HIV/AIDS, poverty, conflict and post-war hardships are key factors contributing to the exposure of children to commercial sexual exploitation. To understand more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Uganda, you can read the full report here.