Crime & Investigation

Uganda Now a Major Sex Slavery Destination – Police


website sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>On average, about 15 cases are reported monthly according Commissioner of Police, Moses Binoga who heads the Counter – Human Trafficking National Task force.

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According to this year’s records Binoga said, Kuwait is topping the largest destination of Ugandan traffics girls, with about 29 reported cases, followed by UAE 6, India 5, while other destinations include South Africa, China, Turkey, Hong Kong, among other.

Binoga was on Wednesday morning addressing press ahead of a sensitization meeting organized by the Task force, with companies that deal in external labour under their umbrella organization, the Uganda Association of External Labor Recruitment Agencies. (UAERA)

Sadly, the reported cases Binoga said, are only less than a quarter of the actual number of cases, since most of the victims come back and remain silent about the atrocious conditions they went through, either out to fear, or for lack of knowledge about where to get help.

It also emerged that Uganda is steadily evolving into a major destination of trafficked humans mainly as sex slaves, with about 12 cases reported this year. 12 of these were girls from Ghana and 2 from South Africa.

Security agencies have also saved 50 potential victims, who were intercepted at border points trying to sneak out of the country, for the “greener pastures.”

Mr Binoga explained that over 80 percent of the reported serious abuses involve local companies which ship out youths for jobs abroad without Operation licenses from Ministry of Gender.

Punitive action

“Only about 30 companies have been licensed by the ministry to operate in this booming industry. The rest are not registered companies, and their operations are illegal,” he elucidated.

There is also a myriad of fraudsters who lure and export the unsuspecting job-seekers on individual arrangements via the Internet.

Mr Binoga noted further that punitive restraints against the perpetrators especially the illegally operating companies are still inadequate, which explains the increased crime prevalence.

There is currently no proper criminal law in the country against exporting labour without a license. Perpetrators are therefore being charged with mainly obtaining money with false pretence, and Trafficking in Person, and convicts normally face a jail term of not exceeding 7 years.

Only 3 perpetrators have been convicted and jailed since 2010. The rest on the backlog of cases are pending in courts of law.

Speaking on behalf of the labour companies, UAERA spokesperson Mr James Twebaze said that many Ugandans who fall victims are also partly to blame for not heeding to government’s advice.”

“May be we need a whole lot more of sensitization to be done, because Ugandans are not patient. They want to deal with individuals on the streets, because they are desperate to find a job.”

Twebaze revealed that the association was finalizing recommendations to the Ministry of Gender to deregister all Companies without operation licenses.

But even licensed companies, according to CP Binoga, are not entirely clean of trafficking cases. He pointed out a number of issues; they need to iron out in their operations:

“They are still poor at monitoring working conditions of their clients abroad as required by the ministry, they are poor at responding to outcries in case of abuse, they still give our unresearched , inadequate or exaggerated information about the jobs to their clients,” he noted.

The meeting Binoga said would seek to address these and many other issues.


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