The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has said the involvement of government officials in labour exportation has led to the increased human trafficking.
Kadaga who made the remarks while opening a workshop on modern slavery at Golden Tulip Hotel on Wednesday said it is unfortunate that government Ministers and officials who would have spearheaded the fight against human trafficking are the ones fuelling the act.
It has been widely reported that some of the registered labour export companies have continued to dupe Ugandans under the guise of better employment offers abroad but end up selling them off to international traffickers.
Others are processed by immigration officials who connive with individuals yet the law requires that people seeking to leave the country for casual labour do it under a registered company.
Speaker Kadaga said the involvement of government officials in labour export compromises regulation of human trafficking adding that Parliament has pushed for better regulations for 20 years now, but in vain.
“It is annoying that a number of Ministers in this government own labour export companies, so you cannot expect them to supervise a sector where they have an interest,” said Kadaga.
During the workshop that was an engagement of different stakeholders to inform the proposed Anti-Slavery Bill 2018, Kadaga proposed that labour exportation be conducted by government as opposed to private companies, if Uganda is to mitigate the rising cases of human trafficking.
“One of the things we have demanded from government is that if there must be exportation of labour, it should be government to government. We need to know where our people are going, we need to know what they are doing, we need to know what their terms of employment are,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga regretted that most Ugandans who have been victims slavery in foreign countries are not registered at Uganda’s foreign missions and this has made it hard for government to rescue them.
She as well called on the public to be more vigilant on cases of human trafficking, saying they have become rampant even within the country.
She cited an incident last year when she rescued 5 children kept in a house for 3 months in Nakawa Division, because of alerts from the local council.
“Last year, I rescued 5 children who had been kept in a house for three months, these children were trafficked from Ngora. Their rescue was possible because the chairperson was vigilant, he was curious about movement of food in and out of a certain house in his village.” Kadaga said.
The Anti-Slavery Bill 2018, seeks to repeal the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2009 and make provision for the prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, commercial sexual exploitation, Debt bondage, Human organ trafficking as well as provide for the repatriation and compensation of victims of the offenses under this Act.