Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with more than half of its inhabitants being less than 15 years of age. Among these young people, close to 65% are in extremely vulnerable positions, due in part to poverty. Uganda is also one of the countries most affected by AIDS. Even though the AIDS pandemic has decreased over the last few years, it has impacted a large number of families and explains half of the country’s 3 million orphans. These orphans are part of the population groups that are the most exposed to forms of exploitation.
In the country, child prostitution is constantly rising, especially within fishing communities and large urban areas. In 2011, the number of child victims has been estimated at 18, 000.
In recent years, Uganda has adopted important measures to improve its internal legislation regarding commercial child sexual exploitation.
In Uganda, we are working with UYDEL (Uganda Youth Development Link), a non-profit organization that was founded in 1993. The organization works to enable young people (between the ages of 10 and 24) in developing their potential so as to become active and responsible citizens. UYDEL has implemented 7 drop-in centers as well as a rehabilitation transit center to welcome and help disadvantaged or out of school youth living in the streets, or victims of sexual exploitation. The program aims at reintegrating young people socially and professionally.