Organised human trafficking rings lured at least 837 Ugandans into conditions that border on modern-day slavery, a new report shows.
The 2013 report on Trafficking In Persons (TIP) indicates that of that number, 429 were victims of transnational trafficking, while 408 were trafficked internally. Uganda was a destination for at least 20 victims from six countries: Madagascar, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania.
“We can’t tell exactly the percentage of the increase in victims of trafficking because there were no proper record mechanisms of trafficking cases in police in 2012,” said Moses Binoga, the coordinator of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce at the ministry of Internal Affairs. “But what we know is that the number of reported cases increased in 2013 due to increased sensitisation on human trafficking.”
Binoga further told The Observer that not all human trafficking reports got by other agencies outside the police were registered as criminal cases, because some victims were uncooperative, while others lacked clear details.
“This explains why the statistics given in this TIP report are bound to be higher than the ones given in the police’s Annual Crime Report 2013,” he added.
The report found that deception, with promises of employment, care, education and marriage, was a key driver behind much of the trafficking. But force was sometimes used in cases related to human sacrifice.
Most transnational victims of trafficking were recruited by individuals and unlicensed companies in Kampala. The majority of the victims left the country disguised, usually by road, through neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
The highest number of complaints registered in cases of transnational trafficking included labour exploitation, mostly in the form of domestic work and sexual exploitation through forced prostitution in the Middle East and South East Asian countries.
Other forms of exploitation included human sacrifice, child marriage, removal of body organs for sale, and worker conditions similar to slavery.According to the report, Ugandans were trafficked mostly to Kuwait (98), Syria (83), DRC (72), Malaysia (43), India (35), UAE (15), Turkey (13), Kenya (11), Qatar (10), South Sudan (10), Thailand (08), Saudi Arabia (04), Oman (03), Iraq (03), China (02), South Africa (02), Germany (02), USA (02), Rwanda (02), Czech Republic (01), Lebanon (01), UK (01), the Netherlands (02), and Switzerland(01).
At least 250 suspects were arrested over human trafficking-related cases last year. Of these, 56 were taken to court and two suspects were convicted of promoting human trafficking, the report says.
Over 77 cases of human trafficking are still before the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal aice and over 44 cases were dismissed due to loss of interest by the victims.
Source : The Observer