Child Abuse and Neglect in Uganda

Type Book
Title Child Abuse and Neglect in Uganda
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Publisher Springer
The reporting of child maltreatment in the media provides information about the nature and extent of this phenomenon, while also influencing public opinion. Media reporting of child maltreatment is often not neutral, but rather embeds assumptions, stereotypes and judgements rooted in different socio-economic and cultural contexts. This chapter, drawing from two print daily newspapers in Uganda from the year 2013, analyses the discourses and representations of child maltreatment in Uganda. A total of 346 newspaper issues were reviewed. Four main discourses are identified with respect to abused children: abused children as innocent vulnerable victims; children as active agents in contributing to their abuse; children as active agents in addressing abuse; and the abused children’s future as a ruined future. The parents of maltreated children are portrayed as unsuspecting and negligent, as active abusers, and in some cases as active agents in addressing child abuse. Other key discourses identified are those that portray the government child protection system as a failed system. The media reports give more prominence to the voices of the police and courts of law, while marginalizing those of children, parents and communities. This paper identifies the need to engage the media in order to promote a more balanced coverage of stories of child maltreatment, to give more voice to children and their families, and to report more about the community and other contexts where abuse takes place beyond the point of view based on the police and courts.

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