The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (Fida-Uganda) has said the country’s porous borders are aiding the increasing cases of human trafficking.
They have urged government to be vigilant to protect innocent people from being exploited.
For instance, Fida-Uganda’s statistics show that 180 girls were intercepted in the last six months at the borders of Busia-Malaba and Lwakhakha, and Entebbe airport but officials are concerned that majority of the cases go undetected.
Ms Elizabeth Kemigisha, an advocate with Fida-Uganda, said at least 40 of the suspects were prosecuted and deported to Uganda.
“We have had meetings with the national task force with immigration officials in Lwakhakha and Busia from where the statistics were drawn. In July alone, 20 people were intercepted and prosecuted. These are girls being trafficked. When they reach Kenya, they are treated as suspects because they are arrested with forged documents at immigration at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The documents are usually processed by the agents taking these girls. Majority of them are not aware,” Ms Kemigisha said at a press conference in Kampala on Tuesday.
She added: “The porous borders make it very easy for victims to be trafficked out of Uganda to other countries. It is so easy for girls from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda to go through Jomo Kenyatta airport while they are being trafficked. This could be through their agents.”
Mr Moses Binoga, the coordinator of the Ugandan National Counter Human Trafficking Task force, yesterday said beyond the natural challenges such as the porous borders, many victims have failed to heed their advice.
However, he added that they are negotiating with trafficking agencies in Kenya and have since July had four meetings with immigration officers, police and foreign affairs ministry officials to increase their vigilance at the borders and follow up on suspected people going through Kenya to curb the vice.