Ugandan children have asked the government to halt its planned programme of distributing contraceptives to teenagers, saying that it’s against their rights.
The children revealed this when they petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Friday.
“We know who we are. We respect and value our bodies. We honour marriage and family. We choose to keep our sexuality for the right time of marriage,” the children said in their petition.
A group of students from schools such as Dream Africa Schools, Wanyange Girls Secondary School, Lunda High School, Crystal Junior School, Katwe Primary School and Divine Child Nursery School among others handed over their petition dubbed ‘Becoming A New Generation Declaration’ –BANG to the Speaker.
They were accompanied by officials from Family Life Network.
This follows media reports early this year that the health ministry was planning to start distributing birth control pills and other contraceptives to children as young as 10.
According to the reported proposal, government plans to have all health centres provide birth control services to adolescents in a move geared towards reducing the spread of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, as well as reduce unwanted pregnancies among school going children.
Martin Langa, the Head of Family Life Network said that children don’t need contraceptives, but guidance and counseling.
“Providing contraceptives will not solve the problems of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy and abortion but contraceptives will instead increase the problems,” he said.
On her part, Kadaga appealed to parents to dedicate time to relate, interact and guide their children despite the pressure to earn an income.
She also highlighted on an earlier debate on comprehensive sexual education from which parliament resolved that all reading materials about the subject be collected and burnt at a public function.
“We are waiting for government to inform us about these materials. We must send a signal that those books should not be read,” she said.