Karimojong sold into slavery in urban areas

KAMPALA

A new report on migration patterns among the Karimojong has revealed that majority of the boys and girls being trafficked to towns are sold off to provide cheap domestic labour.

The report, which was released on Thursday by the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), indicates that whereas the majority Karimojong leave for urban centres in search of jobs and other social amenities, they are lured through an organised racket of fellow Karimojong who traffic them to work as domestic servants for cheap pay.
The report indicates that the boys are diverted to provide casual labour in private farms or herding livestock in urban farms.

“These people know that since the girls are hard working, they provide them with certain sets of skills for which they are traditionally known especially domestic chores and they domesticate them,” said Mr Alexander Billings, the IOM project officer.

He said the boys are taken to urban centres to do cattle herding and digging because these are their traditional known roles. The report shows the most affected community are Bokora from Napak District who embraced
the government’s disarmament programme and surrendered their guns. But they have become vulnerable to raids from the neighbouring tribes.
“When you interview them, the Karimojong tell you that they are not interested in leaving their homes. But because of the hard economic conditions, they are forced to leave their homes and most times these are
family decisions,” Mr Billings said.

While launching the report, Ms Janet Museveni, the Karamoja Affairs minister, said human trafficking is a complex trade people cannot easily understand.
According to Mr Ahunna Eziakomwa Onochie, the UN resident coordinator, human trafficking is raging. “Trafficking is a new form of slavery where criminals are using the victims as slaves and the victims are subjected to violence because they are compelled to carry out activities which are incompatible with enjoyment of equal rights,” she said.

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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