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School CP - May 2016

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CAJ News Africa, 31 May 2016

Uganda outlaws corporal punishment

From Gerald Businge in Kampala, Uganda

Classroom caning, probably posed

KAMPALA (CAJ News) -- UGANDA'S signing of the Children Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 into law has been hailed as a milestone for the children in the East African country.

Key amendments in the Children Act Amendment Bill include protection of children from harmful customary practices such as child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.

It also shields minors from harmful employment, violence and corporal punishment in schools.

Breaking this law attracts imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding 100 currency points or both.

A currency point is equal to Sh20 000 (about US$200).

Aida Girma, United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF's) Representative in Uganda, congratulated the Government of Uganda and President Yoweri Museveni at [sic] assenting to the law.

"I congratulate the President and the Government of Uganda for this major achievement, which now puts in place the legislation required for all children's fundamental rights to be legally protected."

The amended Children's Act is significant in that it establishes new protective legislation regarding the guardianship of children, inter-country adoption, and corporal punishment, among other issues.

The old Act, Cap. 59, focused on the basic needs of the child, leaving gaps in the legal protection of all child rights according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) and other international Conventions that protect child rights.

-- CAJ News

All material © CAJ News Africa.

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