A new report in Tororo says that hundreds of boys are dropping out of school to sell sex to long-distance truck drivers.
The report was released recently by Share An Opportunity Uganda (SAO), a non-governmental organization that works to protect children from exploitation. It shows that the truckers are now avoiding pricey prostitutes and opting for young boys who they pay as low as Shs 5,000 for sex.
Tororo district, near the border with Kenya, lies on the Great North road, used by trucks from Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and beyond. It has many trailer parking yards, which have increased market for foodstuffs and commercial sexual work. Clare Babirye, a SAO programme officer, said some four hundred pupils were involved in the sex trade at UCI trading centre, often missing school and many dropping out altogether.
Babirye challenged the government to operationalize the Anti-Homosexuality Act to stop truckers from molesting the children. On June 24, Tororo district authorities and SAO organized a charity walk in Osukuru, the most affected sub-county, to sensitize children on the dangers of early sex.
According to the survey, Babirye said, most of the victims are not aware of the long-term effects of being used as sex objects since their aim is to get money. A prostitute at UCI trading centre, only identified as Pamela, confirmed to The Observer that she and her colleagues were facing competition from the small boys.
“It is true, all these truck drivers are no longer paying us for our services but want boys for sex and we were wondering why, until one of our friends recently got a driver having sex with a boy inside a truck during broad daylight.”
LC5 Vice Chairperson Betty Akichot said the district leadership would initiate dialogue with the management of Uganda Cement Industries to try and minimize the vice.
“As a district, we register an apology. However, we did not have any information regarding the practice but now that we have been tipped, we are going to use these findings to wage war against the perpetrators,” Akichot said.
Source : The Observer