Kampala: Why helping a street kid will get you jailed


A child begging for money along Nairobi’s Uhuru Highway.

It is now illegal to help a street kid in Uganda’s capital, Uganda.

This is after lawmakers passed a bill outlawing any form of monetary or food aid to the street children.

Those found breaching the law, whose bill was passed yesterday could face six months in jail or a fine of Sh1,100.

The move by the Ugandan government is aimed at stemming child exploitation. This is after it emerged that the children are being used by adults to solicit money from the general public.

According to Kampala mayor Erias Lukwago, the law will also penalise child traffickers and parents of children found begging or selling items on the road.

It is not uncommon in Kampala to see children as young as 7 begging or selling items on the road during traffic snarl ups.

Estimates by the Ugandan government put the number of street children aged between7-17 at 15,000, with the number set to rise.

Some of the street children are usually transported from the countryside to Kampala, where their handlers rent houses for them in slums.



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