Human Trafficking Victims Want More Govt Attention

2767 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Victims of human trafficking are accusing government of not doing enough to counsel, protect and resettle them.

Victims of human trafficking are accusing government of not doing enough to counsel, protect and resettle them.

Although the Trafficking of Persons Act enacted in 2009 condemns trafficking of humans, creates offences for human trafficking and protects victims of human trafficking, implementing it is still a problem.

Sarah Kayendeke, a victim of internal human trafficking, says she was tricked by some people on phone in 2009 to travel from Kumi district for a job in Jinja as a housemaid.  She says at first she was given Shs 50,000/- per month. After three months, one of the bosses identified as Khemlal Mahto, allegedly told her that if she wanted a salary increment up to Shs 150,000/- per month she had to go to bed with the men in the house. She claims she slept with more than six men almost every night for six months.
Enock Dhaira, 21 was in 2010 kidnapped from Walukuba in Jinja. The kidnappers reportedly asked him to read for them a directive written on a piece of paper in Lusoga language and on reading it he became unconscious.
Dhaira says he was trafficked to a shrine in Mombasa, where four men surrounded him, one of them wielding a machete. He claims that one of the men said he did not have all the 32 teeth to serve the purpose, something that Dhaira interpreted to mean he was about to be sacrificed. He calls for more vigilance at the Ugandan border.
//Cue in: “What I should tell all people…”
Cue out: “…who are not Ugandans.”//

Dhaira lost two years in his Advanced Level education due trauma after 11 days of trafficking.

//Cue in: “The receptionist…”
Cue out: “…that is how I came back.”// 

The United States of America global trafficking in humans report ranks Uganda in tier 2, a group of countries which do not comply with the minimum standards required to fight human trafficking and protection of victims of human trafficking.

Asan Kasingye, the director of Interpol in Uganda says police has not done enough to fight human trafficking.

He says there is a lot that needs to be improved in operationalization of the law on human trafficking and protection of victims.

//Cue in: “In 2009, government enacted…”
Cue out: “…who is that criminal.”//

The traffickers take time studying their subjects who are mostly desperate people hoping for a better life.

According to Kasingye, the care for victims has been worsened by lack of proper data on who is a victim of trafficking.

//Cue in: “The lack of coordination…”
Cue out: “…partners in civil society.”//

Chongo Chitupila, project officer International Organization for Migration, says the Ugandan government should stipulate procedures for treatment of victims of human trafficking and how they should be protected and settled.