Uganda has the highest school dropout rate in East Africa, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The dropout rate of children from schools in Northern Uganda is 37% compared to the national average of 13%. A follow-up of every 100 pupils who joined Primary One in 1999 showed that only 25% reached Primary Seven in 2006 in Uganda. Data from the Ministry of Education ministry shows that school dropouts in the country are higher at the primary level than at secondary level. This is caused by lack of interest, pregnancy, early marriages, hidden costs at school and family responsibilities.
Besides the challenge of high school dropout rate, Ugandan families and communities struggle to access healthcare, education and other basic services and young children often suffer unreasonably. Uganda has the highest proportion of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide. There are an estimated 2.3 million orphans in Uganda due to HIV/AIDS (Save the Children, 2011).
Vulnerability of children in Uganda mainly come from factors such as poverty, orphan-hood, parental negligence, abuse, exposure to extreme and hazardous labour, street life, children conflicting with the law, child-headed households and disability. Uganda has been impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic over the past 30 years and many of these vulnerability factors are directly related to the impact of HIV/AIDS.