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Inadequate funding hindering fight against human trafficking in Napak

Human trafficking is high in the Karamoja region.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The LCV chairperson Napak, Joseph Lomanyang has said the fight against human trafficking is being hindered by inadequate funding.

Last week, 100 Karamojong girls were recently intercepted by Kenyan authorities and handed over to the Ugandan authorities in Busia. The girls most of whom are aged 12- 19 were headed to United Arab Emirates to work as maids and housekeepers.

Lomanyang says that the Karamoja region is allocated 38 million shillings for surveillance, follow up, withdrawal and resettlement activities. He explains that the funds are inadequate to effectively handle the rising emergencies on child trafficking in Napak and the neighbouring districts.

“We don’t have the capacity to follow up all these cases immediately if reported. The centre gave us 38 million shillings to handle street children and the vice of human trafficking. Sincerely what can this money do given the magnitude of the problem?” he asked.

Lomonyang also blamed the government for failing to implement strict immigration policies at the border points with Kenya.

“Where did the girls pass going to Nairobi? The government should tighten the conditions for those going abroad. They must carry passports,” he added.

The Napak child coordinator Janet Akwang blamed some families for aiding the trafficking of the girls.

The Mt. Moroto Regional Police Commander, Gerald Twishime said the police and the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development says that the 96 girls will be reunited with their families on Tuesday.

“They (the girls) were brought last night. They are in Kangole and are being counselled before being reunited with their families,” said Twishime.

Joseph Ogwang a social worker and counselor with Cooperation and Development an NGO in Moroto says child trafficking and out migrations are on the increase in Karamoja.

He says that they are working with the police, local authorities and drivers’ associations in Karamoja to track cases of human trafficking in the region.

Ogwang says since April 2019, the office has reunited and settled 20 street children and supported half that number to enroll in school. He said others aged 15 and above will be supported to go for skills development.

There is an estimated 15,000 street children in Kampala and major towns in the country most of whom have reportedly been forced to the streets due to poverty, domestic violence and alcoholism.



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