UNATU’s Endeavor to Eradicate Child Labour in Entebbe Municipality

In the heart of Entebbe Municipality, where the echoes of children’s laughter should resonate, a silent battle against child labour is unfolding. The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) recently orchestrated a pivotal stakeholders’ dialogue meeting on December 19, 2023, at the Division A Headquarters. This gathering sought not only to unveil the stark realities of child labour but also to forge a collective path toward a brighter, exploitation-free future for the children of Entebbe.

Child labour, a deep-rooted issue, finds its roots in multifaceted challenges. Among the numerous reasons identified during the dialogue, some key factors include the absence of responsible parents, domestic violence, parental death, ignorance, economic pressure from caregivers, unregulated film shows (bibanda), drug abuse, unfavorable environments, unemployment, peer influence, and the failure to enforce laws. These intricate issues intertwine, creating an environment where children are left vulnerable to exploitation.

In response to this pressing concern, UNATU in collaboration with Entebbe Municipality has taken significant strides to combat child labour. The dialogue meeting brought to light the ongoing efforts and achievements in this collective battle. Teachers in the 10 schools involved in the Child Labour Social Dialogue Project were able to report their current efforts in the fight such as eliminating corporal punishment, identifying at-risk children, and maintaining SCREAM activities that make schools more child-friendly.

Moreover, the municipality leadership is also showcasing proactive initiatives, such as sustaining the Child Labour Steering Committee, constant community sensitization programs, and integrating Stop child labour into broader government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM). Despite budgetary constraints, the district demonstrated resilience by incorporating child labour initiatives into existing frameworks, reflecting a commitment to prioritizing the well-being of its children and the youth.

Looking ahead, Entebbe Municipality, hand in hand with UNATU, has outlined a comprehensive strategy to create a child labour-free zone. The action points include reminding parents of their crucial role, establishing child labour coordination committees at the village level, emphasizing teamwork, providing socioeconomic support to vulnerable households through government programs, ensuring children attain basic education, and promoting games and sports in schools.

The road ahead is challenging, but the collaboration between UNATU and Entebbe Municipality signals a collective determination to break the chains of child labour. As they continue to implement these initiatives, the hope is to create a nurturing environment where every child can thrive, learn, and grow without the shadows of exploitation. In the face of adversity, UNATU and Entebbe are rising, paving the way for a future where the laughter of children is no longer stifled by the burdens of child labour.

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