News / Africa

Hundreds of Ugandan Women Trapped as Sex Workers in Malaysia

Multimedia

Audio
Douglas Mpuga

A scheme of trafficking Ugandan women to Asia has attracted the attention of activists who say Uganda's government is not doing enough to protect vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation.  

A report released last week said that more than 600 Ugandan girls are currently trapped in Malaysian prostitution rings.

The human traffickers take advantage of lax immigration laws between Uganda and Malaysia, where Ugandans do not need a tourist visa.  Another contributing factor is poor enforcement of a law against human trafficking passed in 2009.

“It is very serious,” said Hajah Noraihan, the Uganda’s honorary consul to Malaysia. “I am told every day ten girls are brought into Malaysia by unscrupulous pimps.”

She said there are reports of pimps even taking children to Malaysia.

Noraihan explained there are about six hundred Ugandan women in Malaysia, including 57 who are either in detention or jail.

The Ugandan diplomat said a bilateral arrangement between Uganda and Malaysia where Ugandans do not need visas has made it very easy for the traffickers to take women to Malaysia without raising suspicion.

“But of course, after the latest scenario, the Malaysian authorities are tightening the process. They are even doing raids [to arrest the suspected culprits],” she said.

In October 2011, Malaysian police busted a sex slave ring and rescued 21 Ugandan women forced into prostitution. Initial investigations showed the women were promised jobs as maids in homes and hotels with a salary of $1,000 a month. Instead, they were forced to become "sex slaves" to pay off travel fees and other costs totaling $7,000.

Authorities say nearly all of the prostituted girls have college degrees but have failed to find jobs in Uganda, where unemployment is high.

Noraihan said the solution should start in Uganda.

“A concerted effort should be made to sensitize the public,” she stressed. “Tell your brother, or sister, or anybody from your family who is going to travel for work. Check first whether it is authentic or not.”

She added, “It should be stopped here, in Uganda, at the source. Because if we stop the supply, the demand will also dwindle.”

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid