Establish the cause of modern slavery – Oulanyah

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has said that the root cause of modern slavery needs to be established in order for the vice to be eliminated from society.

We need to isolate the push factor because it is well established that some people voluntarily get into this problem when seeking opportunities, he said.

He made the remarks while addressing a visiting delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Modern Slavery Project.

The team was led by Daniel Eyre, Head of the Modern Slavery Project with project officials Parosha Chandran, Morgan Flynn, and Mark Scott. .

The UK Modern Day Slavery Project Office is supporting Commonwealth Parliaments to review, amend and enact legislations against modern day slavery, human trafficking forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.

The delegation is in Uganda to support the drafting of the Modern Day Slavery Bill 2018 being moved by Herbert Edmund Ariko, and to drum up support from Parliament in support of the Bill.

Oulanyah encouraged the Project managers to approach the vice holistically. The project should endeavour to deal with the contamination upstream other than the symptoms, he added.

Oulanyah said one of the best ways to address the problem would be to create opportunities locally for people so that they don't seek opportunities outside Africa where they risk ending up as slaves.

One of the problems we have is that people leave the country with qualifications and get to Europe only to be branded slaves yet the Europeans come here and become expatriates, he noted.

Daniel Eyre said that they are in Uganda to learn more about any interventions by the government on the issue of modern slavery. We want to push for legislation that would facilitate the process of fighting the vice, he said.

Eyre added that with the law in place, it would be easier to rehabilitate people who might have been victims of the trade.

Chandran also added that in the same legislation, there should be criminalisation of holding a person in slavery or servitude. This will be one of the ways to combat the practice of taking advantage of people who leave their countries in such of better opportunities, she said.

Source: Parliament of Uganda

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