The case of custody of children is quite different. Custody with regard to children deals with the issue of, who has the right to live with and make important decisions affecting a child? This is the person whom the Family and Children Court has assessed to be in the best position to offer love, care, protection and supervision of the child. In other words that person takes on full responsibility for the child’s needs such as food, clothing, medical care, instruction among others.Whenever, an issue arises as to the custody of a child(ren), the Court bases its’ decision as to who to grant custody to, whether mummy, daddy, uncle, grandfather, grandmother or aunt, depending on the following fundamental factors:During a divorce, although the parties may not be on the best of terms, it is imperative that each parent conscientiously presents accurate facts of his or her capabilities regarding custody and allow the Court to make an accurate assessment for the benefit the child(ren). If one parent is incapable of raising a child in spite of his or her best efforts, why mislead the Court to grant that parent custody, to the detriment of the child? Parents or anyone involved in a custody battle should seek the services of an attorney to assist in obtaining their child’s custody or in the alternative, to get the most possible involvement in their child’s upbringing. No parent should miss the chance to raise their children or to be involved in their upbringing simply because they are not married, or because they are separated or divorced or do not have enough resources.Therefore, parents and relatives who are contemplating the idea of obtaining custody of a child need to examine themselves and answer the following questions: There are also instances where custody is granted to a third party, like a grandparent, where both the father and mother are incapable of taking good care of the children or where it is not in the best interest of the children to stay with his or her parents. In one case, custody of the child was granted to the grandmother because the father was a boda boda (motorcycle) rider who would return home at 2.00 am in the night and the mother was a prostitute who would lock the child inside the house alone at night. When parties petition for divorce, both of them may desire custody of the children but since they do not want to live together any more, only one of them can be granted the said custody. The parties may obtain joint custody which can be joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or a combination of both. The Court may also consider the rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Organization for African Unity Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child with appropriate modifications to suit the circumstances in Uganda, before granting custody. This Family Law article provides general information only. It is not intended to provide advice with respect to any specific set of facts, nor is it intended to advise on all developments in the law.
Welfare principle: For persons below eighteen years, the decision to grant custody, whether to the mother or father is based on the welfare principle. According to the Children’s Act Cap 59 (as amended), the welfare principle is the guiding principle and paramount consideration in making decisions concerning custody of children and is all-encompassing. It includes but is not limited to material welfare, both in the sense of sufficiency of resources to provide a pleasant home and a comfortable state of living and in the true sense of adequacy of care to ensure good health and personal dignity and pride of the child. The Court examines which parent or relative is in a position to provide a pleasant home to ensure the child’s welfare.
Under the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (as amended), a child is a person below the age of 18 years. Every child is entitled to live with his or her parents or guardians, unless it is not in the best interests of the child, in which case, the best substitute care available is provided for the child.Basic needs: The ability to provide the essentials needs of a child such as shelter, food, clothing, education and medical care is not enough. Physical protection, moral, emotional support are also very vital to the Courts in determining welfare. Is mummy or daddy available to discipline, guide, advise, and mentor the child, in addition to the material provisions?
Upon a decree of divorce, the Court makes orders, one of which is, custody of the issues of the marriage (if any). By virtue of the fact that the marriage has been dissolved by divorce, the parents will no longer live together. The question, then is, what is to become of the innocent souls who may not even be aware that there have been misunderstandings between their parents who will, henceforth, not live together anymore?
We should note further that the parent who has not been granted custody does not lose their rights to engage with the children. In many cases, the Court will grant visiting rights to the other parent. The Court may also order shared or joint physical custody, where the child resides with one parent during the school term and with the other parent during holidays. This is because both parents have a right to live with their children and bring them up. This also gives the children a chance to live with and get to know each of their parents.
Who owns a child in Uganda?
The Constitution of Uganda and the Children Act gives both parents equal rights to care for their children unless there are clear grounds that it would not be in the best interests of the children.
The word custody in the legal arena has diverse meanings; when somebody has been put into custody, it is usually because he or she has committed some wrong or a crime and they are detained or imprisoned, awaiting further legal proceedings.
Age: In as much as a person remains a child in the eyes of his or her parent or guardian regardless of their age, in children’s custody, the law is concerned with persons below the age of eighteen. Individuals above eighteen are presumed to be adults and in a position to make their own decisions with regard to where they shall live. It bears repeating that the central factor for consideration by the Court is the welfare of the child. But the welfare of the child is not measured by money only, it is the ability to raise up a well-balanced, well-groomed citizen of the society. We have seen instances where the father is considerably wealthy, but custody of the children is granted to the mother and the father is ordered to pay maintenance to the mother. As parents we must not tire to promote family stability. We must be intentional and consistent in our communication and actions as we foster love, peace and equity at all timesTherefore, it is entirely parents’ responsibility to have perfect knowledge of their children so as to nurture them right from the time they are conceived, born and continually guide and support them on their growth and development journey to enable them achieve their full potential. We must teach children the family values, the laws of God, National values etc so that when they grow old they will not depart from them. Know your children’s unique individual developmental needs and characteristics so as to support them accordingly to achieve their full potential.
It’s very important to note that how parents support their children matters. Leading by example and bringing our children in the training and instruction of the Lord will set them apart as good, kind, ethical and responsible human beings, courageous, respectful, treating others justly, obedient, etc in society.
As parents we must not tire out to promote family stability. We must be intentional and consistent in our communication and actions as we foster love, peace and equity at all times. Also, “Affirming words from Moms and Dads are like light twitches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities” says Garry Smalley.Let us then commit to promote healthy parenting to preserve the young people for a healthy Nation by cultivate healthy relationships with our children, providing psycho-social support at home and be each other’s keeper, guide and support them achieve their full potential. In so doing our children will be as plants grown up in their youth and as pillars sculpted in palace style and will be remembered. God has given us a mantle to preserve the young people in ways that please Him.
Consequently, poor parenting can threaten the whole family. From the biblical perspective, Eli was a priest who did not exercise parental authority to restrain and correct his children when they were young. They did not heed the voice of their father and continued in their sinful ways and God punished them.
If we as parents remember the Lords Instructions and train our children in the way they should go, the Lord will remember them in their generation and bless them. “…because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”Hosea 4:6.
Parental responsibility in the Children’s Act 2016 means all rights, duties, power, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of the child has in relation to the child.
According to Ticusan Marilena (2014) in his journal about The role of parents in integrating their own children in society stated that the child is like a mirror of the parent and in the family parents shape their children’s personality; the way parents communicate with each other, the same way the child will communicate with the parents and the same way the parent relates to the child, the same child will relate to the parent. It is no doubt that parents play a big role in shaping their children’s personality.Today, poor parenting has led to antisocial impact which has increased family tension in the society that requires social- educational measures and solutions. Children are defiled, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, school drop outs etc. According to Jackie Kennedy, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much”.
Child Protection Uganda deals with the protection of children against violence in schools and communities in Iganga district. We sensitise communities on children’s rights and we report cases of child abuse to authorities. We counsel street children about their rights and reunite them with their families. We advocate for children’s rights in schools by making them aware of their rights and responsibilities, encourage them to report cases of child abuse.
Subject to this Act, the executive committee court at village level shall be the court of first instance in matters under this Part of the Act and appeals from that court shall follow the order of appeals as set out in section 105.In determining any question relating to circumstances set out in paragraph 1 (a) and (b), the court or any other person shall have regard in particular to—
What is the parenting law in Uganda?
The law says that every parent has parental responsibility to their child. Parental responsibility means that it is the job of both parents to protect, maintain and ensure that the child is cared for. Cached
and the probation and social welfare officer concerned with the placement of the child shall, so far as possible, assist the foster parent in ensuring the carrying out of the requirements of this subrule.may make an application for a declaration of parentage by complaint on oath to a family and children court having jurisdiction in the place where the applicant resides for summons to be served on—
Notwithstanding the repeal of the Approved Schools Act and the Reformatory Schools Act, where immediately before the commencement of this Act there are any children in any institutions under either of those Acts, the Minister, in consultation with the Minister responsible for internal affairs, shall make such arrangements as may be necessary for the winding up of those institutions and otherwise for the welfare of the children, taking into account the provisions of this Act and, in particular, taking into account the principle that in all matters concerning the child, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
What is child protection in Uganda?
Child Protection Uganda deals with the protection of children against violence in schools and communities in Iganga district. We sensitise communities on children’s rights and we report cases of child abuse to authorities. We counsel street children about their rights and reunite them with their families.
A declaration of parentage may be revoked for sufficient cause by the family and children court on the application of the person against whom it was made.
The words “conviction” and “sentence” shall not be used in reference to a child appearing before a family and children court; and instead, the words “proof of an offence against a child” and “order” shall be substituted for conviction and sentence respectively.
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both.Before a child is released from detention, the probation and social welfare office and the authorities in the detention centre shall discuss the period of aftercare with the child, but in all circumstances it shall not exceed twelve months after the child’s release from detention.
At what age can you father a child?
From a biological standpoint, experts recommend a man is best suited to fatherhood from his late 20s to early 30s. It is still possible for men to father a child in their 50s and older. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest man to father a child was 92 years old at the time of the birth.
(m) “Minister” means the Minister responsible for children’s welfare; (n) “parent” means the biological mother or father or adoptive mother or father of a child; (o) “parental responsibility” means all rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child; In separation, divorce and nullity cases there shall be joint consultation between the parents in bringing up the child where the circumstances permit and wherever possible. If at any time after the expiration of one month from the making of a maintenance order, it is made to appear to a magistrate on oath that any sum to be paid under the order has not been paid, the magistrate may, by warrant signed by him or her, cause the person against whom the order was made to be brought before him or her; and if that person neglects or refuses to pay the sum due from him or her under the order, the magistrate may, by warrant signed by him or her direct— Where the court during divorce, separation or nullity proceedings finds that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of both
A person who without reasonable cause removes a child placed under emergency protection from a place of safety without the authority of the person in whose custody the child is commits an offence and shall be dealt with in accordance with this Act.
An Act to reform and consolidate the law relating to children; to provide for the care, protection and maintenance of children; to provide for local authority support for children; to establish a family and children court; to make provision for children charged with offences and for other connected purposes.
At what age can a father take custody of a child in Uganda?
Individuals above eighteen are presumed to be adults and in a position to make their own decisions with regard to where they shall live. Welfare principle: For persons below eighteen years, the decision to grant custody, whether to the mother or father is based on the welfare principle.
A person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act commits an offence and, with the exception of a person convicted under section 98, is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both.Where a probation and social welfare officer is informed or has reasonable cause to believe that a child who lives or is found in his or her district is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, he or she shall make inquiries to decide whether to act to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.
Do children have rights in Uganda?
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda recognizes the rights of the child. And provides for children’s right to health, right to education, and right to protection from exploitation. Therefore the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda in chapter 4 section 34 has children’s rights listed.
In all matters relating to a child, whether before a court of law or before any other person, regard shall be had to the general principle that any delay in determining the question is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare of the child.be prima facie evidence that the person named as the father is the father of the child or that the person named as the mother is the mother of the child.Where the court is satisfied on information from a probation and social welfare officer or an official of a local government council that the parent who has custody of the child is willfully neglecting or mistreating the child, custody shall be granted to the other parent. Wherever possible, a child shall be placed with a foster parent who has the same cultural background as the child’s parents and who originates from the same area in Uganda as the parents of the child. Has the person/any member of the family had a serious conviction? (If yes, give details and dates and state whether in your opinion it is of such seriousness as to prevent the family/person from taking on a foster placement.)(j) “foster parent” means a person not being the biological mother, father or relative of the child who assumes parental responsibility of the child by way of a care order;the High Court on an appeal from the chief magistrate’s court, may appeal against the decision to the Court of Appeal and thereafter to the Supreme Court.
Any person interested in fostering a child shall complete the application form specified in Form 1 of the Schedule to these Rules and submit it to the district probation and social welfare officer or to the warden of an approved home.
Subject to this Act, any enactment applicable to the enforcement of the judgments, decisions and orders of a magistrate’s court shall, subject to such modifications as may be necessary having regard to this Act, apply to judgments, decisions and orders of a family and children court.parents being unfit to have custody of the child, the court shall place the child in the custody of a fit person; but the parents shall be allowed to have reasonable access to their child unless it is not in the best interests of the child.
A person in whose custody a child is commits an offence if he or she misapplies any money paid for the maintenance of the child, and the grant of custody may be varied in the best interests of the child.
If a foster child is seriously ill, the foster parent shall as soon as possible give notice to the supervising officer, who shall in turn notify the parents or guardians of the illness.A district probation and social welfare officer shall, subject to these Rules, be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the fostering and for ensuring that the provisions of these Rules are complied with.
When a family and children court is satisfied that information concerning a child is being withheld by any person, it may summon that person to disclose the information.
(r) “remand home” means a place declared by the Minister to be a remand home under section 91 or any other place declared to be a remand home under any other enactment; A party to proceedings for a declaration of parentage may appeal to a chief magistrate’s court against the finding of a family and children court; and the appellate court may confirm or revoke the declaration or make any other lawful order that it thinks fit. The effect of a guardianship order is that; it vests parental responsibility of a child in the guardian. The order remains in force until the child in relation to whom it is issued attained the age of eighteen years. And in case of death of the guardian or suffering from infirmity of the body or mind, the guardianship ceases to apply
In conclusion, the guiding principle in case of guardianship is the welfare of the child. Whatever decision is taken by the Court, it must be in the interest of the child.A person who is not a citizen of Uganda cannot be eligible to apply for legal guardianship and an application of this kind is only made by a person above the age of eighteen years (18).
No information contained in this alert should be construed as legal advice from Centre for Public Interest Law or the individual authors, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.
Child custody is filled in the Family and Children Court (FCC) presided over by a Magistrate not below the grade of Magistrate Grade II. These courts can be accessed at the Magistrate’s courts in Uganda. In deciding the particular FCC in which to file the application, it must be filed in the court that has jurisdiction in the area where the child resides.
Developed by the ULS Legal Aid project, the Electronic Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) enhances access to the judicial system by providing basic resources to unrepresented persons.In this way, self-represented litigants and legal officers are guided through identification of concerns,underlying laws, relevant court procedures, and forms to effectively empower users on how to solve common legal problems. In addition ELAC users are clearly guided on their next course of action and, if necessary, can be referred to where to get additional help.
ABSTRACT Legal aid or public defence, especially for the indigent and the vulnerable is requisite in a just and civilized society. Access to legal representation is an essential feature of access to justice, due process and fair hearing. Public defence is the raison d’être for the establishment of the Office of the Public Defender in Lagos State. It is a fact that vast majority of people affected by the criminal and civil justice systems are poor and have no resources with which to protect their rights. Prolonged incarceration of suspects without providing access to legal aid or to the courts violates basic principles of international law and human rights. Legal aid to suspects and prisoners has the potential to reduce the length of time suspects are held in police stations; diminish congestion in the courts, and prison populations, thereby improving conditions of confinement and reducing the costs of criminal justice administration and incarceration. The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender Law 2008 stipulates that the functions of the OPD includes inter alia: to have responsibility for the provision of legal aid services and advice; to receive complaints from individuals or by referrals from government institutions and private institutions; investigate complaints and referrals made to it and to prepare necessary legal documents, negotiate settlements, or give necessary legal advice. The OPD is empowered to provide free legal services in respect of criminal and civil matters to indigent residents of Lagos State irrespective of tribe, race or religion. This basically puts the OPD in a vantage position to provide limitless legal services to the residents of Lagos State. In carrying out this mandate which basically revolves around the very important rational, which is the provision of legal aid, the OPD has handled several cases that have human rights implications in various ramifications. They have traversed the gamut of human rights from the human rights in the criminal Process to the human rights in the civil process.This Research is generally case law of the Best Interest of a child and how its is viewed in different countries fill free to update use the case law herewith in your research work. learn more about the rights of children Regards Gloria Gwahalla
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a while to no avail, then you must visit a doctor. For men, there are a wide range of tests to find out whether or not you’re infertile. Men typically never stop producing sperm, but there is a decline in sperm quality with age. The World Health Organization has set semen parameters which are benchmarks for healthy sperm. These include count, morphology (shape), and motility (movement). Starting around the age of 35, men may see their semen parameters getting worse. Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let’s work together to keep the conversation civil.
Start with getting an evaluation by a urologist. You’ll have to undergo a physical exam and the doctor will ask you of your medical history and lifetsyle habits.
The age where a man is most fertile is between 22 and 25 years. It is suggested to have children before the age of 35. After this age, the male fertility begins to worsen. After 35, the sperm might result in pregnancies where mutations can occur. Going further, if the age of the man is above 45 years, then the chances of having a miscarriage are much higher, irrespective of the age of the pregnant woman.Studies have shown that fathers of an ‘advanced paternal age’ may be more likely to have children with neurodevelopmental disorders. A study done in 2010 observed the offspring of men over 40 had a five-fold risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder compared to the general population.
It is still possible for men to father a child in their 50s and older. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest man to father a child was 92 years old at the time of the birth. Still, researchers have found that a man’s age can affect a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant. Males over 40 years of age have a lower likelihood of success.
What age is too young too young to become a father? A research published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that becoming a father before the age of 25 could lead to serious health consequences and may even lead to untimely death in middle age. The study found that men who became fathers earlier in life were more likely to have poor health and die younger than those who delayed fatherhood until they were 30 to 44. Apart from this, there is a considerable amount of psychological and financial stress that can come with having a child in your early adulthood when you are not fully prepared for it.
Where a competent authority determines in accordance with the laws and procedure applicable that it is in the best interest of the child to separate the child from his or her parent, the best substitute care available shall be provided for the child.The law imposes a duty on the parent, guardian or any person having custody of a child to maintain that child. The duty of the parent to maintain gives a child a right to education and guidance, immunization, adequate diet, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Thus maintenance includes feeding, clothing, education and the general welfare of the child. Even in cases of divorce, separation or nullity, the law requires both parents to continue maintaining and educating their child.While Court or any other person is determining questions of upbringing of the child, regard should be had to the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned, with due regard to his or her age and understanding, the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs, the likely effects of any change in the child’s circumstances, the child’s sex, age, background and any other circumstances relevant in the matter, any harm that the child has suffered or is at the risk of suffering and where relevant, the capacity of the child’s parents, guardian or any other person involved in the care of the child, and in meeting the needs of the child.Though the term welfare is incapable of exact definition, when used in relation to custody of a child means that all circumstances affecting the wellbeing and upbringing of the child have to be taken into account and the court to do what a wise parent acting for the interest of the child ought to do.
What are the rights of a child in Uganda?
The right to equality, without distinction on account of race, religion, or national origin. The right to special protection for the child’s physical, mental and social development. Right to a name and nationality. Child’s right to adequate nutrition, housing, and medical services.
According to Section 3 of the Children Act, the welfare of the child shall be of paramount consideration whenever the state, a court, a tribunal, a local authority or any person determines any question in respect to the upbringing of a child, the administration of a child’s property, or the application of any income arising from that administration. In all matters relating to a child, regard shall be had to the general principle that any delay in determining the matter is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare of the child.Angualia Busiku & Co. Advocates (Registration Number 179893) is a law firm which is comprised of lawyers with previous experience in government service, corporate institutions and law firms.
The Children Amendment Act 2016 introduced the concept of interim order. Where a child is suffering or likely to suffer harm, a probation Social Welfare Officer, mother, father or guardian of a child may apply to the family and children court for an interim custody order pending the determination of custody of the child by the court. Before granting an interim Custody Order, the Court has to be satisfied that the child is suffering or likely to suffer harm if the order for interim custody is not issued or that the order is in the best interests of the child.Where issues of custody of child is between the father and its mother and taking into account the paramount interest of the child, custody of such child, especially when it’s of tender years must be granted to the mother. See Samwiri Massa vs. Rose Achen  HCB 297
Where the court is satisfied that the parent who has custody of the child is willfully neglecting or mistreating the child, custody can be granted to the other parent.The issue of custody of children may arise during proceedings for divorce, separation, nullity or during proceedings for declaration of parentage. The issue of custody can also arise where the parents were not married but cohabited.
The Children Act as amended in 2016 establishes the Family and Children Court presided over by a magistrate not below grade two. The Family and Children Court has power to hear and determine applications relating to child care and protection. The application for custody can be made by sole applicant or joint applicants. The application for custody can be made by any person as it is not limited to biological parents only.
In the case of Otto Methodius Pacific-v- Edyline Sabrina, the Court of Appeal of Uganda adopted reasoning of the Singaporean Court of Appeal in the case of CX v. CY (supra), which recognized that in any custody proceedings, it is crucial that the courts recognize and promote joint parenting so that both parents can continue to have a direct involvement in the child’s life. The Court noted that parental responsibility is for life and that courts should endorse the concept of joint custody. Court should not assume that sole custody orders should be made simply because parents display animosity towards each other. Joint custody could still be ordered even if there was apprehension that the parties might be unable to agree. The fact that the parties cannot agree during divorce proceedings does not necessarily mean that they would be unable to agree on the future long term interests of the child, particularly where the allegations against each other arose from being unhappy with each other. Where a parent has care and control over a child, and the other parent has access to the child, and is also obliged to pay or contribute towards his or her maintenance, it is appropriate for the child to be placed in their joint custody. It is only when it is evident that joint Custody will not work that an alternative order should be made. Courts are no longer inclined to assume that sole custody orders should be made simply because parents display animosity towards each other in the midst of litigation. While the term Custody is not defined by the Children Act as amended in 2016, the Act defines a custodian as the person in whose care a child is physically placed. The definition of custody can be found in case law. In the case of Ali Issa & Fatal Yusuf, court defined custody in the following words: “the word custody when used in connection with children essentially concerns control and preservation, care of the child’s passion, physical, mentally responsibility for a child in regard to its needs, food, clothing, instructions and the like”. The Singaporean Court of Appeal in the case of CX v. CY  4 LRC gave a clearer definition of custody; “Custody as a general concept is divided into two smaller packages, that is ‘care and control’ and residual ‘custody’. Residual ‘custody’ is no longer the same concept as our general understanding of custody. Instead, residual ‘custody’ is the package of residual rights that remains after the grant of a care and control order that dictates which parent shall be the daily caregiver of the child and with whom the child shall live. To put it simplistically, ‘care and control’ concerns the day-to-day decision-making, while residual ‘custody’ concerns the long-term decision-making for the welfare of the child. Care and control concerns the right to take care of a child and to make day-to-day, short-term decisions concerning the child’s upbringing and welfare. Custody without care and control (that is, custody in its narrow sense) concerns the right to make the more important, longer-term decisions concerning the upbringing and welfare of a child”. The law allows the mother, father, or guardian having custody of the child to make an application for maintenance order against the father or mother. Where a declaration of parentage has been made in respect of a child, such a child can apply for a maintenance order through a next of friend. An application for maintenance of a child may be made during subsistence of marriage, proceedings for divorce, separation, nullity of marriage or proceedings for declaration of parentage or after a declaration of parentage has been made. The application can be made at any time during pregnancy and must be made before the child attains 18 years since it ceases to have effect upon attaining 18 years.
Parents have a fundamental right to care and bring up their children. In the case of Rwabuhemba Tim Musinguzi v. Harriet Kamakume Supreme Court Civil Application No. 142 of 2009 stated that “Parents have a fundamental right to care and bring up their children. This is a constitutional right. Of course it is not considered in isolation, the welfare of the child is a consideration to be taken into account, and at times may be the paramount consideration. A parent can only be denied the right to care for and raise her children when it is dear and has been determined by a competent authority, in accordance with law, that it is in the best interest of the chi/d that the child be separated from the parent… both parents have similar and equal rights with regard to their child”.
Both parents have a constitutional right to care and bring up their children. However, the right is not considered in isolation. The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration to be taken into account. Thus a parent can only be denied the right to care for and raise her children when it is clear that it is in the best interest of the child that the child be separated from the parent.
The welfare of the children does not only require that both parents be involved in the children’s upbringing but also demands that both parents be involved in determining what is best for them in that regard. The court should not decree an arrangement which gives an impression to a child that either the father or mother does not care about his welfare.
Where one of the parents requests for the joint custody and the other does not oppose it in his or her evidence, the Court should considered it. A court should not intervene unnecessarily in the parent-child relationship where there is no actual dispute between the parents over any serious matters relating to the child’s upbringing. The Court should make investigation on the workability or impossibility of a joint custody order. Where there are no exceptional circumstances established to warrant sole custody, grant of a sole custody order amounts to misdirection and a misapplication of the welfare principle.The considerations for granting custody lie in statutory provisions, case law and the particular facts of each case. The Constitution, the Children Act and international law emphasize the right and duty of each parent to care for and bring up their children. The Constitution emphasizes the right of children to know and be cared for by their parents or those entitled to bring them up.Guided by the above definition, the Court of Appeal of Uganda in the case of Otto Methodius Pacific-v- Edyline Sabrina Pacific stated that custody is not only about care and control and access but also involves the right to make long term decisions like education, religion, major healthcare decisions and others relating to a child.
In determining any question relating to the upbringing of children and particularly custody, the court or any other person should have regard to the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned considered
in the light of his or her age and understanding. The Court should determine whether the children’s level of maturity enable each of them to have their wishes considered. While Court may not necessarily agree with what the children want or doing what they want but paying proper respect to the older children who are of age and attention maturity to make up their minds as to what they think is best for them.
In Uganda, the issue of welfare of a child has been considered in a number of judicial decisions. In the case of Bishop David Kiganda vs. Hadija Nasejje Kiganda HC Divorce Cause N0.42 of 2011, Judge B. Kainamura observed that the paramount principle in cases of custody is the welfare of the child. The Court found that the child had been in the custody of the Petitioner since 2006 when the couple separated, the Petitioner was allowed to retain custody of the child.According to the case of Walker-v- Walker and Harrison (1981) N2 Recent Law 257, welfare is an all-encompassing word which includes material welfare, both in the sense of an adequacy of resources to provide a pleasant home and comfortable standard of living and in the sense of an adequacy of care to ensure that good health and due personal pride are maintained. Although material considerations have their place, they are secondary matters and more important are stability and the security, the loving and understanding care and guidance, the warm and compassionate relationships, that are essential for the full development of the child’s own character, personality and talents.
The parents of a child may enter into a written agreement to determine which of them shall have custody of the child. Court may recognize an agreement made between the parents of a child giving the custody of the child to one of the parents, except where court finds that enforcing the agreement would not be in the best interest of the child. Court shall only recognize a Custody agreement if it is satisfied that there was no duress or fraud involved in making the agreement.
Whenever the issue of custody arises, the parents should always ensure that whatever they do, they are guided by the welfare of the child. The parents should endeavor to settle the issue of custody amicably before taking the matter to court. It is always important to seek legal advice from a family law attorney whenever the issue of custody and maintance arises.
Viewed from the above perspective, the Court of Appeal of Uganda in the case of Otto Methodius Pacific-v- Edyline Sabrina Pacific concluded that sole custody should be exceptional, and should be granted only where for example physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by one parent is established. A decision giving sole custody to one parent with minimal access/visitation amounts to excluding that parent from the upbringing of his or her children, which should be done upon evidence that he or she is not suited for the job. The Court should give reasons why it has given such little time to the one parent with the children, especially if there is evidence pointing to the fact that both parents love their children. The test should not be which parent is best suited to be granted custody but what is in the best interests of the child.Where the parent who has been declared to be the mother or father of the child has died, the law allows an order for maintenance to be made and enforced against the estate of the deceased. The money payable under a maintenance order is payable to the applicant except where a custodian has been appointed in which case, the money is payable to the custodian. The court may also order that the money be paid in court and then to the applicant or custodian as the court may direct.
What are the different types of custody in Uganda?
Courts can grant sole custody, where one parent is given exclusive custody of the child, and joint custody, where custody is shared between the parents.
Every child has right to live with his or her parent or guardian, where capable, express his or her view, belief or opinion on any matter that affects his or her wellbeing, right to access any information to which a parent, guardian or other person in authority deems critical to the child’s well-being, right to be registered after birth, right to a name and nationality, inherit property where applicable, right to safety, privacy, information and access to basic social services, effective legal aid including representation in all civil, criminal and administrative proceedings among others.
Article 18(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 to which Uganda is a party imposes a duty on State parties to use the best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Some of the provisions of this Convention have been incorporated in the Children Act.
We have sent a mobile money debit request to “+billing_phone+” from Payline Holdings. Please approve it to complete transaction. This request will expire within 2 minutes.Custody and maintenance of Children in Uganda is among others governed by the 1995 Constitution, the Children Act Cap 59 as amended in 2016, Divorce Act and the Children (Family and Children Court) Rules. Uganda is also a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. The needs of children are the same worldwide and this explains why the Children Convention is the most instrument ratified worldwide. Except for South Sudan and United States, all United Nations member states have ratified the Children Convention. Some of the provisions of the Convention have been domesticated into Ugandan law under the Children Act as amended in 2016.
What is an NGO? An NGO is a legal entity that is formed for purposes of carrying out charitable activities and is ideally a Not for Profit organisation. NGOs are permitted to carry out profitable activities for purposes of supporting their charitable works. An NGO is capable of owning its own property/assets (like owning land […]
The Children Act under section 86 encourages during separation, divorce or nullity cases joint consultation between the parents in bringing up the child where the circumstances permit and whenever possible. While it is not unreasonable for most people to quickly conclude that joint custody presupposes cooperation and communication between the parties, joint custody can be ordered even where the parents neither correspond or talk to each other as it is often the case in most divorce or custody proceedings. This is because while as between the parties there is bitterness, it does not necessarily follow that this would spill over in determining the educational needs of the children. Both parents have and continue to have the children’s interest at heart. In the unlikely event that an impasse arises, the parties can always seek assistance of the court.Where the court finds during divorce, separation or nullity proceedings that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of both parents being unfit to have custody of the child, the court may place the child in the custody of a fit person, but the parents shall be allowed to have reasonable access to their child unless it is not in the best interest of the child. The Constitution of Uganda and the Children Act gives both parents equal rights to care for their children unless there are clear grounds that it would not be in the best interests of the children. For one of the parents to be denied custody, there must be evidence disentitling him or her from having custody of the children and Court must not only consider which parent is suited to have custody without considering what the best interest of the children is. The court is required to consider other interests of the child and allow parties to adduce evidence thereof. Viljoen, F., “Supra-national human rights instruments for the protection of children in Africa: the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child”, The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa 1998 (31(2)) 199–212.
Uganda ranks 159 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (United Nations Development Programme (undp), 2019) and 127 out of 162 in the 2018 Gender Inequality Index (undp, 2019). The population is very young, with an estimated 54 per cent of the population under the age of 18 in 2019 (United Nations Population Division 2019). Over 40 per cent of the population lives below the international poverty line (undp, 2019). Specific child protection concerns vary from region to region and there is little available evidence, but Walakira et al. (2017) identify a universal culture of normalisation of violence exhibited in harsh discipline in homes and schools alike.
The most significant difference between the African Charter and the Convention is found in Article 31 of the Charter, “Responsibility of the Child” which, similarly to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, imposes duties on children. These are conditional, being subject to children’s age and ability ‘and such limitations as may be contained in the present Charter’, which include, as Johnson (2015) points out, the best interests principle. These include: to work for the cohesion of the family; to respect their parents, superiors and elders at all times and to assist them in case of need; to place their physical and intellectual abilities at the service of the national community; to contribute to the moral well-being of society and the promotion and achievement of African Unity; and to preserve and strengthen social and national solidarity, African cultural values and the independence and integrity of their country.
you can never report a fellow teacher, because that has … implications … it’s also that it has an impact on the school administration and their enrolment, so … if it’s a fellow teacher they will tend to cover up.Nonetheless, the study demonstrated enactment of the vision of children’s rights as implying ‘performance of duties on the part of everyone’ in the Charter’s Preamble (in comparison to the imposition of duties by the Convention solely on ‘States Parties’). It preserves and promotes community engagement in child protection in line with traditional African values. This approach is vital in remote, struggling communities with limited access to resources and young populations and represents a significant strength of any response to child protection concerns.
How are children treated in Uganda?
Most children in Uganda have experienced physical violence that threatens and halts their holistic and positive development – 59 per cent of girls and 68 per cent of boys.
Uganda ratified the Convention in 1990 and has submitted two State Party Reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (excluding reports on the optional protocols), in 1996 and 2004, leading to Concluding Observations from the Committee in 1997 and 2005 (uncrc 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005). It has also submitted an initial report to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (mglsd, 2007). In its initial State Party Report under the Convention (uncrc, 1996), the Ugandan government described the nation as newly recovering from political and civil instability which had destroyed social service systems and left the nation impoverished, and as struggling to deal with the aids pandemic. It drew attention to two barriers to implementation of the Convention: the high rate of illiteracy in the population, which contributed greatly to lack of awareness of and negative attitudes towards children’s rights; and the use of outdated colonial laws which were ‘totally deficient in the protection they give to children’ (uncrc, 1996: para. 28). It also acknowledged the power of customary law, which is recognised as long as it does not contravene national legislation, in deciding social issues in Uganda and the common use of dispute resolution through villages (preserved in the Children Act). Communities were described as willing to seek children’s views but unlikely to respect them and parental neglect was highlighted as a particular concern. The government concluded that lack of resources was the primary barrier to the realisation of children’s rights. It also lamented the difficulty in tackling discrimination, promising a scaling up of sensitisation programmes on introduction of the Children Act and Constitution to change attitudes.Participants were unsympathetic to claims that practices that contravened the law were justified because they were ‘cultural’: ‘you have to abide with the Act for children … If you are taken in front of the magistrate, you will not say, “this is our culture”. You have to adhere’ (d1-pc). In D2, a focus was on pursuing prosecutions of men for rape and early marriage of girls, to ‘serve as an example’, because in the absence of clear legal action ‘others also will do the same’ (d2-sc/cdo).
Participants also reported that teachers felt under pressure from parents to beat pupils because ‘many parents know if you don’t beat then you have not punished’ (d1-sw2).
Three distinct strands of development can be identified in the engagement of humanitarian agencies with work involving child protection: efforts to establish best practice and standardise responses; endeavours to replace a reactive approach to the particular issues apparent in any specific location with a more holistic and systematic response to child protection; and a shift from a welfare-based approach to work with children to a rights-based perspective. This article, based on research into child protection programming implemented by civil society organisations (cso s) in isolated communities in two rural districts in Uganda, is concerned with the third and most controversial of these developments.Section 2 briefly outlines the development of international norms and standards for child protection through the mechanisms of the Convention and the potential tensions between international standards and local contexts. The relationship between the underlying assumptions of the Convention and cultural values in African nations is considered in Section 3 through the lens of the Charter, followed by discussion of the legislative context in Uganda and barriers to implementation identified in the literature. Section 4 describes the methods used in the empirical study, the findings from which are set out in Section 5, before concluding reflections are presented in Section 6.
Who takes the children after divorce in Uganda?
Child custody is filled in the Family and Children Court (FCC) presided over by a Magistrate not below the grade of Magistrate Grade II. These courts can be accessed at the Magistrate’s courts in Uganda.
While many of the specific child protection concerns addressed with communities were regarded as arising from traditional values and norms, there was also a contrasting view, strongly articulated by some professionals, that parents in the very poor communities in which they were working were failing to implement African family-focused cultural values: ‘When it comes to the community … the problem is I think … to do with attitude and parenting. The parents have neglected their roles and they are not doing their work’ (d2-pc).
A feature of the way in which all participants spoke about their work was the equation of respect for children’s rights with adherence to the law, an approach which reflects the Ugandan Children Act 1997 and the Children (Amendment) Act 2016 as set out above. Subject to reported concerns about the erosion of parental authority and unrealistic expectations on parents, discussed below, professionals considered that the vast majority of parents were respectful but ignorant of the law: ‘People are not aware of the existing laws. We still need to … Teach them of their children’s rights’ (d1-cdo); ‘in the community we share with the parents the importance of upholding the children’s rights to ensure that they don’t conflict with the law’ (d2-sw2). They saw their first task therefore as ensuring that parents understood that practices such as child marriage, physical punishment, withdrawing children from school to care for cattle and failure to register a birth were all violations of children’s rights that were forbidden by law.
Chirwa, D.M., “The Merits and Demerits of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child”, The International Journal of Children’s Rights 2002 (10(2)), 157–177.Part ii of the Ugandan Children Act 1996, comprising section 2–9, is entitled, “Rights of the Child”. Section 3 (“Welfare and guiding principles”) requires the child’s welfare to be the ‘paramount consideration’ (identical to the Children Act 1989 of England and Wales) whenever ‘the state, a court, a tribunal, a local authority or any person determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child …’ (a much wider list of duty-holders than the English 1989 Act, which limits this obligation to the court). Thus, as exhibited in relation to the Charter, the Ugandan conceptualisation of children’s rights is shown to be more protectionist and less autonomy-oriented than that of the Convention.