Kampala -The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Internal Affairs has vowed to double its efforts in ensuring that it completely eliminates the vice of human trafficking which is one of the big threats faced by Ugandans (especially the less privileged).
At the Commemoration of World Day against Trafficking in person held at Kabira Country Club in Kampala, on Sunday, Gen Kahinda Otafiire the Minister of Internal Affairs noted that Government is committed to eliminating Humman Trafficking and thus asked other stakeholders to work closely with them for a successful Implementation.
“We must not leave any citizen behind, we should solidify our efforts through partnership. We appreciate both local and international partners who have supported in fighting human trafficking as well as creating awareness among the communities.” Remarked Gen Otafiire in his message read by Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu (Permanent Secretary Min of Internal Affairs)
He pointed out that Trafficking is a global problem which cuts across, nobody can address it on an individual basis thus calling for a coordinated effort.
“Uganda has porous Borders, whereby out it has 2698km of borderline with 5 different countries but immigration has only 67 points. This, therefore, creates another challenge in tackling the vice.”
Dr. Annette Kirabira, Chairperson Board for the Civil society coalition against trafficking in Persons, reported that for the past few years, Uganda has registered progress in fighting this practice increased efforts towards investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, Increased conviction rate of traffickers with one of the offenders being sentenced to life imprisonment, suspending of labour recruitment companies involved in dubious dealings and increased capacity building of stakeholders.
“Trafficking in persons doesn’t discriminate in age and many cases go unnoticed. The National Report on Counter-trafficking 2022 indicated that a total of 1200 cases of Trafficking were recorded, 55.7 percent of adults and 44.3 percent were children. Domestic Trafficking was 89.3 percent and Transnational cases were 10.7 percent.”
She further called upon stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive approach to combat trafficking in persons on top of having all the law enforcement agencies enforcing the laws in place on top of protecting and supporting the victims.
Rachel Bikhole from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions reported that last year, the country registered the highest conviction rate since the Prevention of Trafficking Act was enacted in 2009. The total number of convictions was 73 in 2022 compared to 30 convictions in 2021.
“Trafficking is a serious crime with a devastating impact on the community. In Uganda, many cases get media attention after being circulated on social media but there are many which go unnoticed in several homes.”
Commissioner of Police Julius Twinomujuni, the National Coordinator in the Coordination office for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (COPTIP) at the Ministry of Internal revealed that many youths get trafficked after being duped of employment opportunities and thus called upon people not to employ young people without conducting any background check from their areas of origin.
This year’s celebrations were held under the theme “Reach every victim of Trafficking, leave nobody behind.” Organized by Civil society coalition against trafficking in persons and partners.
At the celebration event, the International Organisation for Migration (I0M) in Uganda,Chief of Mission, Sanusi Tejan Savage, handed over the National Trafficking in Persons Database to the government of Uganda.