Court Sentences Ugandan Mothers To One Month Community Service For Sending Children To Beg

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A court in Uganda has sentenced more than 100 women to one month of community service each after they confessed to sending their children to beg in the capital, Kampala.

The court has also banned the women from returning to the city and ordered that they be sent back to their home district of Napak in northern Uganda, privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper reported.

The women pleaded for leniency, with some saying they were widows and others single mothers, state-owned New Vision newspaper reported.

“I have listened to their cries and a [jail] sentence would be inappropriate. I have to enforce a deterrent sentence…I will sentence them to community service. In default, you will serve one month of imprisonment,” the judge in the case, Magistrate Edgar Karakire, was quoted as saying by the Daily Monitor.

Sending children to solicit or beg for alms is against Uganda’s child protection laws and carries a maximum sentence of six months.

The women had been arrested last month during a crackdown to eject beggars from the capital, ahead of three international summits that were hosted there.

The children were taken to the Masulita Children’s Village in central Uganda, which hosts rescued children.