An assessment of the application of the welfare principle in orders made in respect to children in Uganda

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Kampala International University,School of Law
This study is based on analysis of the application of the welfare principle in orders made in respect to children in Uganda. The study was guided by historical constructs of the welfare of children, the existing international protection mechanisms for children's welfare and Uganda's state of protection of children's welfare. The study was qualitative in nature and, it established the existing knowledge on children's welfare globally and Uganda in general. The study scores that welfare includes material welfare, both in the sense of an adequacy of resources to provide a pleasant home and a comfortable standard of living and in the sense of an adequacy of care to ensure that good health and due personal pride are maintained but even more important are the stability and the security, the loving and understanding care and guidance. The study further delves into the existing international mechanisms on the welfare of children. Specifically, the study looked at protection of children under the United Nations, Europe and in Africa. The study established that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land giving binding force on all authorities and persons throughout Uganda where article 31 ( 4) enjoins a duty upon parents to care for and bring up their children which means that the parents of a child have the first right to custody of their own children, followed by the Children Act, Cap 59, Penal Code Act, Cap 120, Family and children court, Police Act Cap 303 and the Uganda Human Rights Commission. Despite the adoption of such frameworks, Uganda has not established sufficient legal protective measures against violation of the rights of children in regard to protection of their welfare. The study concludes that the welfare of children is protected under national, regional and international instruments especially when making orders such as custody, guardianship, adoption, parentage and those in regards to probation and social welfare officers. However, all these instruments have not effectively and to the full implementation of the welfare principle. The study hence recommends the need to consolidate all laws relating to children in the Children Act which will take into consideration all the above provisions as well as those in the Optional Protocol that are not yet adequately dealt with.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Bachelor of Laws of Kampala International University
welfare principle, children, Uganda