Children have played a major role in the conflicts that regularly erupt in Uganda. They were, in effect, recruited by armed groups who kidnapped them at an early age; and they lived under the most atrocious conditions.
Young girls were raped and then kidnapped from their homes. Having fallen into the hands of these armed factions, they were forced to prostitute themselves and were constantly mistreated by their captors.
Numerous young boys became active members of armed groups. On orders from their commanders, they murdered and massacred entire families. The violent acts that they have witnessed, committed and been subjected to during childhood, will have a long-term effect on both their physical and mental health. The image of those acts will remain with them for the rest of their lives and their personalities will be changed forever.
Reintegrating such children into civil society is complicated. They have known only violence and cruelty over many years and find it difficult to return to a normal life. Certain centers have been established to aid them, but it is still hard to bring them back into the fold.