U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uganda
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||14 June 2004|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uganda, 14 June 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7f923.html [accessed 18 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Uganda (Tier 2)
Uganda is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. The rebel organization "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) abducts boys, girls, and adults in war-torn northern Uganda, a territory outside full government control. Children taken by the LRA are forced to work as cooks, porters, agricultural workers, and combat soldiers; girls are subjected to sex slavery under the guise of forced marriage. UNICEF estimates that not less than 10,000 children have been abducted since the June 2002 launch of military operations against LRA camps in southern Sudan.
The Government of Uganda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its current efforts to combat trafficking, the government should draft and enact anti-trafficking legislation, protect children from recruitment into armed groups, and take further action to demobilize child soldiers from all armed groups.
Uganda does not have a comprehensive law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The Penal Code specifies penalties for several trafficking-related offenses, such as procurement of women for purposes of prostitution, detention with sexual intent, trading in slaves, and forced labor. There have been no prosecutions for trafficking-related offenses. When captured, LRA rebels are not charged with trafficking; instead almost all ex-combatants apply for and are granted amnesty. Those who do not seek amnesty are generally tried for crimes carrying greater penalties, such as treason and sedition.
The government collaborates with NGOs involved in rescuing street children, rehabilitating abducted children, and combating child labor. The government assists former LRA abductees, including children. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force has a trained Child Protection Unit that receives and shelters former child soldiers and transfers them to NGO-run reintegration centers. The government has provided resettlement packages to disarmed rebels, some of whom are former child soldiers. In addition, the government has had a program in place since 2000 that provides blanket amnesty to rebels or abductees, including immunity from criminal liability. Since January 2003, there have been two cases of treason charges filed against ex-LRA combatants for crimes committed while they were children. The charges were dropped when the two were granted amnesty and turned over to NGOs for reintegration into society.
The Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development speaks out publicly against child abductions, has drafted a national plan to combat child labor, and is mounting public awareness campaigns on local radio stations against child labor and the exploitation of children as domestic servants.