The ILO is pursuing its efforts to strengthen the economic component of reintegration programmes for former child soldiers in countries concerned. Two new projects have started in 2012.
Providing jobs to former child soldiers of legal working age is of key importance to ensure their sustainable reintegration into society and to prevent them from being re-recruited by armed forces or groups or from engaging in exploitative work. The ILO is therefore pursuing its efforts to strengthen the economic component of reintegration programmes for former child soldiers in countries concerned. Two new projects have started in 2012.
In Somalia, the European Union is funding an ILO project to support the economic reintegration of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups in the city of Mogadishu and support children at risk of recruitment. The aim is to help them access decent work and sustain themselves and their families. This is done through a local partner and in close collaboration with UNICEF which continues to support other aspects of reintegration (such as education, psychosocial support, medical care, etc.)
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC), UNICEF has an ongoing programme to support the reintegration of children released from armed forces and groups in the provinces of North and South Kivu and Province Orientale. Activities in support to children are conducted by local partners. UNICEF requested ILO’s support to build the capacity of these local partners in the field of economic reintegration and to monitor their activities.
By Proscovia Nakibuuka – UNICEF
KAMPALA, Uganda, 15 June 2012 – Children with disabilities are the most marginalized and vulnerable group in Uganda. They are often abused, exploited and excluded by society, denying them of their right to health, protection and education.
This year’s Day of the African Child – which takes place annually on 16 June – will be commemorated under the theme ‘The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill’, a theme chosen to highlight the plight of children with disabilities. In Uganda, the day provides an occasion for all actors to renew their commitments towards improving the plight of marginalized and vulnerable children by organizing activities aimed at including these specific children.
“There is a lot of stigma within communities towards homes with children with disabilities. The public needs to know that they can be useful citizens in the future and also contribute towards the development of the country,” said James Kabogozza, the assistant commissioner for youth and children in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Because of the continued stigma, parents often hide their children and deny them their rights, thinking they are totally helpless. But this is clearly not the case for Denis Komakech, a 17-year old-pupil from Gulu District.
“I am a living example that the disabled can do a lot. A blind person can use a computer even though he or she cannot see,” Denis said as he comfortably used his computer, which is enabled with Braille. Denis is very good with his computer since he does most of his work on it.
Born with sight, Denis became blind when he was 2 years old after a bout of measles. Despite the marginalization and challenges children with disabilities face in their daily lives, Denis has remained determined to succeed, driven by his dream of becoming a lawyer.
Disability is not inability
According to Mr. Kabogozza, “Most facilities, schools, public places and hospitals are not friendly to children with disabilities.” However, Denis is fortunate because his school, Gulu High School, is an inclusive school with a special needs annex for students who are blind. UNICEF, through the district, supports the school with financial assistance and teacher training.
And Denis is just one example. Once given a chance, children with disabilities can thrive, succeed and reach their full potential.
“I am moving together with the world because disability is not inability,” he said with a smile.
The Citizens’ Action for Quality Public Education
‘’Our children and nation will have no future, if we choose to do nothing about public education’’
A) a two days teachers’ protest (16th & 17th);
B) presentation of a petetion to the Rt. Hon. Deputy speaker of Parliament (17th)
C) National Inter-Faith Prayers (20th, 21st & 22nd)
The July 10th launch at Kawempe Muslim Primary school received very wide media coverage. The Ministry of Education and Sports moved very quickly to issue a press statement threatening to sack the teachers and called upon the security agencies to investigate the NGOs behind the Quality Education campaign, arguing that the teachers’ union was not part of the campaign. The Teachers’ Union issued a counter press statement to the effect that they were very much a part of the campaign and that the teachers’ protest would go a head. We also issued a press statement to that effect.
This morning we went ahead to present our petetion to the Rt. Hon. Deputy speaker of Parliament. It was very well received and has this afternoon been tabled in parliament by Hon. Rosemary Sseninde (Woman MP – Wakiso), with wide coverage in the media.
We are proceeding with the other activies among which is the National Inter-Faith Prayers starting this Friday at Papal Paul Memorial Center at 10 AM.
After the 22nd, we will be following the Parliamentary debate on our petetion as well as lobbying as many MPs as we will be able to, to support our petetion when it comes on the floor of Parliament from the Social Services Committee.
Thank you all for your support and please do join every one this Friday for the inter-faith prayers at Papal Paul Memorial Center at 10AM.