Children on the streets ask “How do our laws impact poverty and inequality?”

Everyone is constantly living under laws and regulations set by governments – laws and regulations that are put in place to protect everyday people – but do laws work?

Are they enforced correctly?

Are they set with everyone’s best interests in mind?

These are the issues that were discussed during today’s Inequality Question, with 183 views and 22 different threads. There were many opinions raised with contributors from Uganda, the UK and America responding to the question (chosen by the children on the streets) “Do our current laws increase inequality and poverty in the community?”

There was an overarching viewpoint that laws contributed to inequality and poverty, however the reasons behind this were less clearly agreed. As the debate progressed several key themes developed: Powerful People, Law Enforcement and Ideas for Change.

Powerful People

The discussion began with Freida in the UK saying “YES!!! They are made by people with power and money to benefit people with power and money. The only way to change is to have a more proportional system of people making laws and not just the rich elites.”.

Freida was not alone in her stance on laws – many others agreed that this was the case, and David in Uganda responded to Freida by mentioning a new bridge that is currently being built in Jinja, highlighting that people with power make you pay money to use the bridge. David stressed that this brought inequality between the poor and the rich. Later, another contributor commented that lawmakers will discriminate against different geographical areas when creating laws – highlighting how this can cause inequality – they referred to the fact that the good roads are only in urban areas and this affecting accessibility.

James on twitter began to speak about how housing is a human right according to the UN, but the governments ignore this despite being law maker. He suggested that the way to resolve this issue is to remove shelter as a form of investment and capital.

Also from twitter, Monica shared a helpful visual to show how barriers to equality might be created by lawmakers:

Law Enforcement


Although early discussion focussed on lawmakers, the responsibility then shifted onto those actually enforcing the law. This view was particularly stressed amongst the Ugandan contributors. Emmanuel from Uganda added to a different post that there is a lot of bribery throughout the police. This means that those who have money and power can get away with breaking the law as the police will turn a blind eye. Jose, also from Uganda, said that “we must increase the accountability of police” to stop this form of corruption.

The next thread to be created was from Bill in the UK, who echoed Emmanuel and Jose in his statement that “people acting better” will cause change, as if people do not allow themselves to engage in corruption then there would be significant improvement in the enforcement of our laws worldwide, and an improvement in the number of individuals breaking these laws.

Ideas for Change

As the live debate reached its end the contributors started to stop looking at the problem, and they began to discuss the solution. Although there were many more contributions that positioned themselves alongside the already discussed themes, but perhaps the most interesting, and definitely most hopeful, comments were those regarding what can be done to stop laws being used to increase inequality.

Dan and Xander from the UK started a particularly interesting thread on speaking out when things are wrong:

Others responded that what is needed is people coming together and speaking as a united voice, emphasising power in numbers.

Both Zubaili and Ssekate from Uganda commented that having more young people as politicians will mean that their voices are heard – perhaps we have some politicians in the making?


The debate today was a great success. It was brilliant to see comments coming in fast from multiple continents and really thought-provoking ideas and issues were raised.

You can view all the discussions on the website – and join in next month’s debate when a new topic will be chosen by the children living on the streets of Uganda!

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