By Taddeo Bwambale

KAMPALA, April 16– Uganda’s High Commission (Embassy) in Kuala Lumpur has rescued three Ugandan girls recruited to work as sex slaves in Malaysia, it says in a message to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

The three girls — Nasunna, Tebazaala and Nakuya (other names withheld) — are scheduled to return home on Thursday aboard an Ethiopian Airways flight, the message from the High Commission said, adding that the young women were victims of physical and mental abuse.

“The three ladies have experienced the most inhuman forms of mental and physical torture. We request that they are contacted by a social worker for counselling,” reads the letter signed by Samantha Mbabazi Sherurah, the High Commission’s First Secretary.

The High Commissioner, Stephen Mubiru, told New Vision in an interview Tuesday that they were working with Malaysia’s security agencies to track more victims of the abhorrent trade. “A number of Ugandan ladies and men are victims of human trafficking in Malaysia, China and (other) Asian countries. We are working hard to ensure the remaining victims return home,” Mubiru said.

Sources in Kuala Lumpur said the three returnees reported that about 20 more Ugandan women sex slaves are hiding in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, fearing arrest by the authorities or being hunted by their recruiters. The New Vision was told of some others in jail for various crimes.

Mubiru appealed to any Ugandan victim of the thriving human trafficking and sex slavery in Malaysia to approach the mission for help. The High Commission became operational on Nov 26, 2014 and the Consular Section was opened in March. Mubiru took up office on March 18.

For many years, reports of Ugandan girls being trafficked to different countries under the guise of finding them employment, but they end up in sex slavery.

Moses Binoga, co-ordinator of the anti-human trafficking task force at the Internal Affairs Ministry here, said such cases were on the rise. “I receive about five reports every week, mostly from the Middle East. But only half the victims are assisted to return home,” he told New Vision.

He said the problem arises when Ugandans seek employment abroad through personal contacts, instead of using registered recruitment agencies.

Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Fred Opolot confirmed that many cases of abuse of Ugandans in Malaysia had been brought to the attention of the ministry. “Apart from boosting government, business and student relations, establishment of the embassy in Malaysia was partly aimed at to responding to an increase in such cases,” Opolot said.



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