UGANDAN SECURITY MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH MALAYSIAN COUNTERPART ON CHILD TRAFFICKING

KAMPALA, Uganda's Security minister, Lieutenant-General Henry Tumukunde, has held talks in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Home Affairs (Interior) Minister, Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the deputy Prime Minister, on ways of curbing child trafficking as Uganda seeks to end the illegal practice which has frustrated the authorities here over the years.

According to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here Thursday, Tumukunde, who is on official visit in Malaysia, also held bilateral talks with Zahid on technical co-operation and capacity building in the security sector between the two countries. Every year, the officials said, the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) sends one senior officer to Malaysia for training.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said the visit by Tumukunde comes against the backdrop of strong efforts by the government of Uganda to identify trafficking victims and stamp out this illicit vice. Ugandan victims of human trafficking have in the past been abandoned in Malaysia, some as they were en route to Europe, the statement said.

Since the Uganda High Commission (Embassy) in Malaysia was opened nearly three years ago, 181 children have been sent home through direct interventions by the Uganda High Commission. it added.

Foreign Ministry officials said in 2012, at least 600 Ugandan girls were reported to have been forced into Malaysia's sex trade.

The two countries have since established a special investigative unit on trafficking in persons to curb the practice.

Meanwhile, in order to further strengthen the co-operation between Uganda and Malaysia, a team lead by officials from the newly created Ministry Of Science and Technology will visit Malaysia this month to benchmark on the Malaysian model, especially on how to use technology to spur development and eventually achieve Uganda's Vision 2040 development initiative.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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