One factor causing significant risk to the children of Uganda is the high proportion of children who are growing up as refugees. There are now over 1.5 million refugees living in Uganda. This number has tripled since 2016 and is expected to continue to rise exponentially as tribal conflict in multiple countries continues to drive people to seek safety within Uganda. Of this number, approximately 80,000 refugees live in the capital city of Kampala. Refugees in Kampala come predominantly from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritrea.

Refugees who opt to live outside designated settlements are expected to be self-reliant and do not receive regular humanitarian assistance, in line with the government’s urban refugee policy. Refugees are scattered among the city-slums and tend to regroup according to their country of origin. Protection concerns for Refugees living in Kampala include:

  • Access to health: according to InterAid, health service providers have a negative and discriminatory attitudes towards refugees and often charge them more than the real cost of medication
  • Access to education: government schools in Kampala charge fees. More than 50% of school-age children are not registered in any school (UN data, 2010)
  • Persecution: Due to the role Uganda played in the DRC long standing conflict and in Rwanda , many asylum seekers and refugees are afraid of the Ugandan authorities