Located in Uganda’s Mpigi District, The Kampiringisa Children’s Rehabilitation Center is run by the nation’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The Center’s purpose is to detain youth, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, who have been in trouble with the law. However, as Jo Kroes Randell reports, most of the inmates are under twelve years of age, including some toddlers and babies, and have not committed any crimes. Street children who have been abandoned by parents are swept up each night as part of a “clean streets” initiative. The children are brought to the center where they are interned until they turn 18. With no access to a lawyer or advocates, except for a rare visit from a humanitarian charity, the children have no way of getting out unless a family member comes to retrieve them, which rarely happens.
The center is filthy with overflowing toilets, a non-working kitchen that is covered in black sludge, broken glass, and mattresses sleeping two or more. Often, older offenders are given responsibility for looking after younger inmates. The children are uneducated and without medical care. Corporal punishment is used alongside manual labor to keep the children occupied and behaved. Little is reported about this prison for children of all ages.
Source: Jo Kroes Randell, “No Place for Children–Kamiringisa,” Sustain For Life, March 7, 2013, http://www.sustainforlife.org/2013/03/no-place-for-children-kampiringisa/.
Student Researcher: Shelby Wade (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Linh Huynh (Sonoma State University)