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Busia, Malaba common routes for human traffickers

14 August 2014, 16:40 Jane Zack

Busia - Busia and Malaba borders have become the most commonly used routes for human trafficking by Ugandans.

Majority of the traffickers have resorted to illegal mechanisms like giving out the passports to be cleared beforehand and deceiving the immigration officers that they are going for visits in the neighbouring Kenya.

Attesting to this, Uganda Counter-human Trafficking National Task force Coordinator, Binoga Moses said that security officers in Busia - Uganda and Busia - Kenya should co-operate and be on the lookout in a bid to contain the situation.

"Some are going through Juba and Katuna areas but at least the majority are going through Malaba and Busia and we want to alert our security teams on the Kenyan and Ugandan side to be on the lookout," Binoga cautioned.

He appealed to their colleagues in Kenya to partner with their Ugandan counterparts in a bid to try and come up with ways of containing the trend.

"We have unverified reports that there are some Ugandans who have been taken to Nairobi and have been subjected to forced prostitution. A lady came back to the country in May and reported that she was taken to Nairobi for a job, but on arrival she was subjected to forced prostitution until she escaped," Binoga told journalists in his office in Busia Uganda.

He said that in a separate case which has not been confirmed yet, a young Ugandan man was last year taken to Nairobi where he was exposed to sodomy and also forced to sleep with women.

"Unfortunately, they do not have proper descriptions of the particular places where these incidents took place for us to make a follow up, but we want to use this chance to call upon our colleagues in Kenya to do surveillance in some of the suspected places where these people are operating from," Binoga said.

In another case, it is alleged that three young men from Uganda were lured by a pastor that they were being taken for education in an Island in Kenya but on reaching there they were subjected to child labour and witchcraft.

The security agents on both sides have therefore been challenged to be on high alert to establish the proper motive of movement of people since the crime of exploitation and abuse is becoming rampant.

"We should be able to work together with our Kenyan counterparts, rescue the victims and prosecute the offenders," Binoga added.

He added, "On average, we get five to ten victims who pass through Kenya every week and who later report of torture, abuse and exploitation."

Uganda Deputy National Coordinator Counter Trafficking Taskforce, Agnes Igoye said that the practice is a challenge not only in Uganda but also globally.

"When you want to deal with trafficking as a challenge, you need to collaborate with other countries. Majority of the victims we have had have been passing through Kenya to seek for employment abroad,"  Igoye remarked.

Between January and June this year, the country has registered a total of 138 cases of trafficking.

Parents at the border towns of Busia and Uganda have been cautioned to ensure that they follow the proper procedures if at all they want to send their children abroad for employment.

Also, members of the public who are willing to go abroad have been urged to ensure that they liaise with licensed companies and follow the proper laid avenues.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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