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Towards rewriting children's bondage in poverty and vulnerability : underscoring the fundamentals to realizing children's social protection rights in Uganda / Ronald Luwangula
AuthorLuwangula, Ronald
CensorOttomeyer, Klaus ; Becker, David
PublishedKlagenfurt, March, 2015
Descriptionxx, 298 Blätter : Illustrationen
Institutional NoteAlpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Dissertation, 2015
LanguageEnglish
Bibl. ReferenceOeBB
Document typeDissertation (PhD)
Keywords (DE)Rewriting / Bondage / Poverty / Vulnerability / Fundamentals / Children / Social Protection / Rights
Keywords (EN)rewriting / bondage / poverty / vulnerability / fundamentals / children / social protection / rights
Keywords (GND)Uganda / Kind / Armut / Psychosoziale Belastung / Resilienz / Prävention
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubk:1-25640 Persistent Identifier (URN)
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Abstract (English)

Towards Rewriting Children's Bondage in Poverty and Vulnerability: Underscoring the Fundamentals to Realizing Children's Social Protection Rights in Uganda Child poverty is among, if not, the single most significant cause of the psychological torment and distress that children in most developing countries including Uganda grapple with. Children in Uganda comprise 56% of the estimated 34 million people. 46% of children are in abject poverty while 96% of all children are vulnerable. 1.3 million Children as of 2010 were critically vulnerable. UNICEF Uganda (2014) indicates that 55% of children aged 0-4 in Uganda live in poverty, of whom, 24% live in extreme poverty; among children aged 6-17, 38% live in poverty, of whom, 18% are in extreme poverty; while 15.2% of school-aged children (6-17 years) never attended school in 2011, 33% of under-5 children are stunted, 13.5% underweight, and 5% wasted; and 33% of Ugandan children living in the poorest households are suffering from extreme shelter deprivation compared to the national average of 17%. Majority of these children are victims of psychological effects of poverty and vulnerability that have formed a key concern for the discipline of psychology overtime. These psychological development outcomes characteristic of children in poverty are very typical of poverty stricken children in Uganda. Recently, the psychology discipline has simultaneously embraced a shift towards measures that directly address the deep-seated problem of poverty as a means towards assuring the vulnerable children psychosocial wellbeing. Social protection is one of the measures (see the Caucus of the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations during the 50th Session of the Commission for Social Development on 2 February 2012). While child poverty, vulnerability and the attendant psychosocial dysfunction can be addressed through child-sensitive social protection, the fundamentals to realizing children's social protection rights in Uganda were unknown. The study aimed to: document the opportunities and necessary measures for formal social protection mechanisms to build on the potentials of the traditional/indigenous social protection systems; establish the necessitated measures to make Uganda's legislative and regulatory framework on social protection more child-sensitive and responsive to child poverty and vulnerability; explore the potential of Civil Society sector (CSOs) and the private sector in addressing poor and vulnerable children's social protection needs and rights; establish the role of psychosocial workers in Uganda in promoting child-sensitive social protection; document the existing and/or commendable good practices towards realizing children's social protection in Uganda. Conceptualization of this study was guided by Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler's (2004) transformative social protection framework complemented by DFID et al.'s (2009) Child-sensitive Social Protection framework while analysis and interpretation of findings was underpinned by; The Diathesis-Stress theory/model, Self-efficacy theory, Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development, Attachment theory, Resilience and the Social Contract Theory. These were complementary rather than applied in isolation. This was a phenomenological qualitative study that benefitted from exploratory and descriptive designs. Purposive and snow-ball sampling techniques were used to select participants in Kampala and Kamuli districts. The sample comprised of 31 in-depth interviews (staff of public and private-not-for-profit agencies, community members and leaders and children), 2 FGDs with children (outside family environment), 2 FGDs with children within family environment, and 2 FGDs with community members. Data was analysed thematically, facilitated by the processes of qualitative coding and analytic memo writing. The study unraveled the need to strengthen non-formal systems if their potential towards offering linkages to, and serving as building blocks for the formal social protection sector is to be harnessed. The legal and regulatory framework was promising but falls short of implementation to the latter. This psychologically impacts on children's wellbeing. The framework needs to be underpinned by a child-sensitive social protection policy and political will. CSOs were identified with several roles to play and so was the private sector. Psychosocial workers regardless of which sector they are located in were challenged to use their knowledge about the effects of poverty on children's psychological functioning to inform policy, programming and action. Other underlined issues were vocational and apprenticeship training for these children, approaching children as social protection actors, legislating on minimum wage, reforming the social security sector, and creating fiscal space for social protection. The findings suggest several implications for child-sensitive social protection policy, legislation, operated schemes, coverage, and above all, the renewed role and practice of psychology in addressing structural poverty. It concludes that without the discipline of psychology embracing social protection as a component part of the discipline's structural role in addressing poverty, the consequences are dire for not only the children trapped in poverty and vulnerability (their clients) but also the professionals themselves who continue responding to the symptoms and effects of poverty as opposed to the root cause of the deep-seated problem of poverty. With such a status quo maintained, the professionals can hardly survive vicarious traumatization. Key words: Rewriting / Bondage / Poverty / Vulnerability / Fundamentals / Children / Social Protection / Rights

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