Domestic Violence

Some of the children claimed that domestic violence was one of the key factors that led them to desert their homes and join criminal gangs. Some children were repeatedly abused by their parents/maids. This is in agreement with Albert Bandura’s (Bandura, 1975) social learning theory. Bandura believes that an environment characterised by conflicts, decay and insufficient social organisation is a major determinant of delinquency among juveniles.

Inherited Traits

Some children inherit factors from their parents that are criminal in nature. If their parents were thieves, they are likely to be thieves as well. This is learning by observation as expounded by Bandura in his social leaning theory. The probation officer in Nagulu indicated that they had some juveniles accused of theft whose parents were also thieves.

Uncontrolled Media

While there is some level of control in the West on what children can watch on television and print media, in Uganda, such control is left to the parents at home. Public television shows action films where murder and war are glorified. This is in agreement with Centerwall’s views on the effect of Television (Centerwall, 1993). After viewing these films, children ask for toy guns as gifts for their birthdays. In Uganda, there are places called “bibanda” (rudimentary local movie theatres) where there is no control on the content that can be viewed. The proprietors do not check the age of children before they enter. In Uganda Vs Kidyel Henry Komakec, 2014, the accused was a 12-year-old boy who was left at home with a 4-year-old child. He defiled the girl, allegedly due to watching pornography. He was charged with aggravated defilement and was convicted accordingly.

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