WEIGHT: 52 kg
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On the shores of Lake Victoria in Buikwe district is Kiyindi village, one of the biggest landing sites in the country. A recent report by the AfriChild Center at Makerere University, details the worrying extent of the vice.
The research, titled 'A study of community-based child protection mechanisms in a fishing community in central Uganda,' involved interviews with participants, including adults and children. Joyce Wanican, the executive director of AfriChild Center, says the six-month research was conducted to inform the organisation's programs and policies that aim to improve child well-being in the country.
The younger boys also engage in commercial sex as the buyers, with older sex workers. The common denominator is always money," she noted. The report adds that many of the child victims, aged 11 to 17 years, are out of school. Although there are older prostitutes, many clients prefer young girls because they charge less. Whereas an adult may charge Shs 8,, a child's 'service' is as low as Shs 1, Additionally, adults tend to like young girls due to their developing breasts and buttocks, as these allegedly boost their libido.
The International Labour Organization ILO defines child prostitution as the use of underage girls and boys in sexual activities, remunerated in cash or in kind. Government, through the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, developed the National Action Plan on elimination of the worst forms of child labour to forbid the involvement of children in commercial sex exploitation.
Nonetheless, AfriChild Centre's findings in Kiyindi reveal child prostitution is ranked the second highest risk, after child labour, affecting children's well-being. According to the research, prevalence of child prostitution is linked to a number of factors, including overexposure of children to pornography, inadequate education opportunities, low social status of women and girls, poverty and unemployment.