Joining Forces, a consortium of six child rights organisations, has today launched a social behavioral change campaign aimed at reducing physical violence against children.
With support from the European Union, the nine-month multimedia campaign will target parents and caregivers, enabling them to adopt non-violent parenting methods.
Currently, physical violence is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by children in Uganda. It is also one of the most reported forms of violence. For instance, last year it made 27% of all cases reported to the Uganda Child Helpline.
Further, a report released by Joining Forces last year indicated that almost 66% of children interviewed reported an increase in physical or emotional violence from their caregivers in the month leading up to December 2020.
“These statistics should worry us all and motivate us to join hands and end this form of violence. They also reveal that there is an overwhelming need to provide practical support to parents and caregivers so that they can provide nurturing care and support to children. This need inspired the creation of the Hands4Good campaign,” says Dragana Strinic, Save the Children Country Director.
Under the tagline “Hands4Good”, the campaign calls on all parents and caregivers to use their hands to nurture, support, and guide children instead of using them for violence.
With special focus in 6 districts; Gulu, Obongi, Kampala, Wakiso, Busia and Bugiri, the campaign will work with community champions of non-violent parenting. The champions will support their communities to work towards ending physical violence, identify children at risk of physical violence, and ensure that these children access services that will provide the support they need.
The campaign will also popularise the Parenting Without Violence methods which support parents and caregivers to gain increased understanding of child development and how to use positive discipline with their children. As a result, children will be able to thrive in safe and loving environments.