U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uganda

Uganda (Tier 2)

Uganda is a source country for trafficked persons, primarily women and children. During the past 10 years, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has kidnapped an estimated 5,100 Ugandan, Congolese, and Sudanese children, taken them to southern Sudan, and forced them to become soldiers, labor and sex slaves.

The Government of Uganda does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government is making significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons despite severe resource constraints and the civil conflict with the LRA. The Criminal Code prohibits slavery with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment. Improved civil-military relations in northern Uganda have helped the Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF) assist victims of the LRA. Between November 2000 and January 2001, the UPDF rescued and repatriated 121 child abductees who had escaped from the LRA. A 1999 Agreement with Sudan provides for the repatriation of abductees, although abductee returns so far have been as a result of escapes or UPDF rescue rather than the assistance of Sudan. The Government supports universal primary education programs as a preventative measure against trafficking. The Government has established protected camps garrisoned by the UPDF to prevent abductions; while security has increased enough that villages are now returning to their previous home areas, the parents leave the children in the camps to ensure their education and safety. The Government is unable to offer financial assistance to the to NGO's providing assistance to victims of trafficking but does cooperate with these NGO's. The UPDF escorts rescued abductees to NGO facilities which then give physical assistance and counseling to the children and their families so that the children can be reintegrated into society.


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