News / Africa

    Trafficking of Ugandan Women to Asia on the Rise

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Douglas Mpuga

    An international agency has expressed concern about the increased trafficking of Ugandan women to Asia.  The International Organization of Migration (IOM) says victims of trafficking whom IOM has helped to return to Uganda have reported being subjected to sexual slavery, rape and torture.

    Ugandan sources suggest there may be as many as 600 trafficked Ugandan women currently in Malaysia, with between 10 and 20 more arriving each week.

    Initially IOM had anecdotal information, said Zafarullah Hassim, the Trafficking-in-People communication specialist at the iom in Uganda.

    “There were no studies but ad hoc indicators,” he said.  But the raids in Malaysia at the end of 2011 led the IOM to take another look at the issue, and that’s when the Uganda consul in Malaysia came out and said there were 600 Ugandan women there and another 60 in jail – arrested by the Malaysia’s G-7 unit.

    Hassim said he wasn’t sure why Malaysia was the preferred destination of the traffickers, but added, “We have brought 14 women back from Malaysia, but some of them had gone through China and Thailand before arriving in Malaysia.”

    “I think one of the reasons is job and study opportunities that are abundantly available in Malaysia. The traffickers are utilizing that opportunity because many of the women are taken under the guise of a job or [as] a student.”

    The trafficking is done by “respectable people” in Uganda who are targeting good-looking, young girls, said Hassim, citing stories the IOM gets from the clients the organization brings back.

    “They target girls between the age of 17 and 22 years. They hunt at universities, and hair salons,” he said, again quoting the girls who have come back.

    He said that according to these girls, even in Malaysia there are houses owned by Ugandans where they keep these women before they are taken to Nigerian clients living in Malaysia, China, or Thailand.

    In 2009, the government of Uganda enacted the Uganda Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act.

    But, Hassim said, nothing much has been done to implement this act. Even the US government’s 2011 report on worldwide human trafficking mentions ten agencies in Uganda suspected of involvement in human trafficking. “None of these [organizations] were investigated; no prosecutions. Even the government has re-issued a license to one of these agencies”

    As a result of the IOM raising this issue, he said, the Speaker of Uganda’s parliament, has requested the minister of Youth Affairs to reintroduce in parliament the issue of human trafficking.

    Hassim, however, admitted that the [human trafficking] issue is a complicated one. “People are very organized with connections here in [Uganda], China, Thailand and Malaysia. They train traffickers to tell lies in transit and as they enter each country. They also have proper passports and visas.”

    He called on the Uganda government to help educate the general public on how to differentiate between a genuine working and study opportunity and the tricks of these traffickers.

    You May Like

    Video Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.