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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid