In Uganda over the past months, it has come to light that the problem of human trafficking in whatever form it might manifest, needs to be addressed by both the State and other concerned actors.
Osezua Osolase, the Nigerian who thrived on ‘juju’ to hoodwink his unsuspecting victims was an apparently respectable man who could easily be trusted, making it very easy to succeed in his deceit.
Hence, Osolase deserved the 20 year jail sentence for dealing in exploitation, manipulation and degradation. Many African girls are victims of human trafficking but no reports of such are made public or to the concerned authorities. We need to ask ourselves what has gone wrong with the established State organs that are mandated to fight and stop the vice.
In Uganda alone, reports have it that more than 600 girls are stuck in Malaysia after being promised better jobs and education by their ‘employers’.
Human trafficking has now become a human rights issue and States have to act now before it erodes all efforts made to empower women and girls. The international community needs to address this problem and the only sure way is for the United Nations and other institutions like the Commonwealth, African Union, East African Community and the European Union to convene a global forum to tackle the vice.
Human trafficking has become a societal problem as it does not only affect the victims but also their families. Advocacy and building the capacity of State actors like the police and the judiciary should be made a priority by the International Community in addition to enforcing the enabling legal framework.
We at the Commonwealth Association Uganda, call upon the leaders of the Commonwealth, that during their 2013 Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, the issue of human trafficking should be discussed as the vice is increasing and it’s impact on the economy cannot be measured.
Kiapi K. Frederick,