The SOPs provide practical guidance for conducting comprehensive and effective criminal proceedings against TIP, encompassing reactive and proactive investigative approaches, international police cooperation, and financial inquiries.
Five government agencies, in collaboration with a non-profit
organization, have unveiled Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) designed to
guide the detection, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking cases. The participating agencies include the Office of the Director of
Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Uganda Police Force, Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs, Coordination Office for Prevention of Trafficking in
Persons, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Financial Intelligence Authority, Willow
International, and Platform for Labour Action.
During the launch event in Kampala on Wednesday evening, Jane
Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions noted that these SOPs align
with the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2009, and other relevant
laws. They are intended to combat the crime of human trafficking, safeguard
victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.
Abodo emphasized that human trafficking cases are often complex
and transnational, requiring enhanced cooperation, coordination, and
information sharing among stakeholders.
The SOPs aim to improve the capacity of
prosecutors, standardize the handling of trafficking in persons (TIP) cases,
and increase convictions through enhanced case quality.
George William Byansi, the Deputy Director of Public
Prosecutions, spoke on behalf of Abodo and emphasized that these SOPs will
contribute to more effective law enforcement.
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The SOPs provide practical guidance for conducting comprehensive
and effective criminal proceedings against TIP, encompassing reactive and
proactive investigative approaches, international police cooperation, and
Moreover, the SOPs are grounded in a human rights-based,
victim-centered, and trauma-informed approach, with a strong focus on gender
and child considerations, prioritizing victim safeguarding and referrals for
appropriate assistance while strengthening prosecution efforts.
Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Tom Magambo,
commended the SOPs as a step toward transforming Uganda. He stressed the
importance of education in deterring human trafficking, as it addresses the
root causes of the problem.
Marco Bufo, the Regional Coordinator for CIVIPOL and the Better
Migration Management Program (BMM) expressed hope for the effective
implementation of the SOPs and pledged support for their execution.
The SOPs will be jointly utilized by prosecutors, police
officers, immigration officers, labor inspectors, civil society organizations,
representatives of the Financial Intelligence Authority, and community leaders.
These SOPs were developed with support from the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and CIVIPOL, an implementing partner of the
Better Migration Management Programme (BMM), commissioned by the German Federal
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the
These SOPs are part of a broader initiative, including
Memorandums of Understanding, reporting websites, and legislation enhancements,
aimed at combating human trafficking in Uganda. Records indicate a 400 percent
increase in trafficking in person cases over the last five years.
From January 2020 to June 2022 alone, the Office of the DPP
registered 717 cases involving children and identified 962 child victims of
These cases encompassed sexual exploitation, labor exploitation,
child sacrifice, and both sexual and labor exploitation. Challenges cited by the Office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions include the diverse and complex nature of human trafficking, its
concealed nature, transnational reach, and the use of technology, making
detection and enforcement difficult.
Additionally, methods for identification,
investigation, and prosecution of trafficking persons in Uganda are relatively
new, requiring further implementation of the Prevention of Trafficking in