Exploring the role of Honor in violence among children

Mapping Child Protection and Exploring the Role of Honour in sustaining violence against children

The AfriChild Centre, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is conducting a study to Map out Child protection and Honour in Uganda. The study's overall purpose is to “explore tensions between child protection and rights narratives from the Global North and narratives held by children and child protection institutions and actors in the Global South. This study explores the implications of key tensions – the best interests of the child, the role of child agency, and the role child protection institutions play in the lives of children and child protection programmes and practices in Uganda. Within this framework, this study also aims to explore the role of honour in sustaining violence against children and contributing to child well-being through children’s social relationships with their families, peers, and communities.

AfriChild Centre embarked on the first phase of data collection with children and caregivers between the 7 and 23 March 2022. By end of March 23, 2022, the team had completed 10 Focus Group Discussions with children (5 for boys and 5 for girls) and 5 FGDs with caregivers (3 with females and 2 with males) in the different areas in the different suburbs of Kampala namely, Kisenyi, Katwe, Kyebando, Katooke and Kinawataka. The common findings indicated that honour was related to respect (ekitibwa) in many transcripts while others looked at it in relation to freedom.

There was an observed difference between street-connected children and children living with a caregiver (s) in terms of child agency as the former reported to be making their own decisions even at an early age of 10 years while the latter reported not making decisions until they start living independently.

The police are regarded as one of the common perpetrators of violence against children as it was reported in one of the discussion groups that a police officer defiled a girl in Kinawataka and in another group the police beat a child who eventually died after a few days in Kisenyi.

Among the caregivers, a “child” was one under parental/family/caregiver care. Therefore, regarding children living and surviving on the street as adults.