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Immigration directorate wants human trafficking law reviewed

Human trafficking

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control is proposing a review of the Prevention of Trafficking in Person’s Act, saying it isn’t serving its intended purpose.

This came up when officials from the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control appeared before the Gender and Labor Committee of Parliament chaired by Alex Ndeezi, the representative persons with disability to respond to queries on human trafficking and what is being done to stop the vice.

The committee is probing concerns of several Ugandans who get trapped in the Middle East despite exiting through Entebbe International Airport.

Speaking in the committee, Robert Kanuma, the officer in charge Immigration at Entebbe International Airport explained that the act was designed to curb acts of individuals involved in human trafficking and not companies, which is the biggest challenge now.

He also noted that the act permits whoever is above 16 years of age to freely move of the country yet the consent age is 18 years.

Kanuma also said the punishments provided in the act are not punitive enough, which calls for a review focusing at new areas of immigration like cooperation, agreements and the fact some people go abroad willingly but end up human trafficking victims.

However, said that due to several mechanisms put in place especially the multi-sectoral taskforce,  human trafficking has reduced.

Col. Geoffrey Kambere, the Commissioner Immigration Control, said they have put in place strong measures to curb the network of cartels dealing in human trafficking. He says they have mounted cameras to monitor immigration staff aiding trafficking.

Betty Nasejje, the Principle Immigration Officer, says is need for a holistic approach towards curbing human trafficking, adding that there is a need for various players involved right including security, Ministry of Gender, Immigration and Aviation authorities to be good at what they do to ensure there is no gap.

Patrick Okabe, the Serere Member of parliament, said that the government should ensure that Ugandans seek employment in places with Memorandum of understanding instead of taking them to places they are not wanted.

There are more than 100,000 Ugandans working as domestic workers, manual labourers, drivers and guards in the various Gulf States. Uganda has signed MOU’s with United Arabs Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Saudi Arabia for the provision of manpower and domestic workers.

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