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Human Trafficking Cases on the Rise

Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello said human trafficking and forced labour cases are showing an alarming increase as a result of abuse of the process by criminal gangs and unscrupulous employers.
16 Jul 2015 17:44
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem before Parliament\'s Human Rights Committee.

Audio 3

Acting Foreign Affairs minister Okello Oryem has said human trafficking and forced labour cases are showing an alarming increase as a result of abuse of the process by criminal gangs and unscrupulous employers.

Oryem said the increasing cases of human trafficking, is partly caused by a failure to carry out due diligence by Ugandans seeking employment abroad.

The minister was responding to questions by Members of Parliament sitting on Parliament\'s Human Rights Committee regarding the government\'s commitment to end the problem.

Oryem told MPs that law enforcement agencies are doing all they can to combat the problem; but the youth should also take responsibility by critically analyzing companies offering these jobs before they travel.

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There has been general outcry about trafficking of mainly women to various parts of the world, where they are sexually exploited and abused. 

This prompted the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, last year to call on Government to ban the export of domestic workers, following complaints of abuse and torture, but the then State Minister for Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana, said that the ban on export of domestic workers is difficult to implement.

Committee Chairperson Safia Nalule urged the minister to continuously update parliament on the status of Ugandans living abroad.

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Meanwhile, Oryem lamented the decision by the health ministry to cancel plans to export doctors to Trinidad and Tobago following pressure and criticism from donors and a local think tank.

He said the move denied the doctors and nurses valuable experience.

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In April government halted the plan to export health professionals to Trinidad and Tobago saying the move would negatively affect the delivery of healthcare services in the country.

Government had indicated plans to export about 263 specialists to Trinidad and Tobago, prompting protests from parliament and Health Rights Activists.