Iteso Cultural Union has expressed interest to join the Uganda Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons (UCATIP) so as to join synergies and fight the vice in the region and the country at large.
UCATIP is a network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that seek to create a society free from human trafficking through consultation, coordination, cooperation and advocacy.
The need for the cultural institution to join the coalition follows the recent launch of the coalition status report for the five years form 2014 to 2019 which highlighted the need by all stakeholders to join the fight against trafficking in persons.
In their letter dated 20th September 2021 addressed to the UCATIP Coordinator, the Iteso Cultural Union Deputy Prime Minister, Ejalu Valerian and the Union Youth Coordinator, Sarah Johano Alungat appreciated the role by the civil society actors and offered to amplify the same was coopted.
“Aware of the fact that you are campaigners and promoters of human rights especially in the fight against human trafficking in the country. From time immemorial, this type of practice has never been part of our tradition as Iteso. It’s against this background that we wish to join you in fighting against human trafficking in the entire country,” noted the Deputy Premier Ejalu.
Ejalu said that as a cultural union, they have keen interest in working with UCATIP in particular programmes of fighting against the ever-increasing practices human trafficking and the killing of innocent people for human body parts in Uganda.
“We welcome you to have a partnership dialogue with us in building synergies that can help us together to fight against this alarming situation in the country,” Ejalu said.
UCATIP is yet to respond to the request by the cultural group to join the coalition which currently has a membership of over 40 member organisations that work in a variety of ways to combat human trafficking including victim support and protection, legal aid, strengthening and training justice system actors, community sensitization and advocacy.
According to the status report that was ranked early this month, Uganda is a source, transit and destination country for adults and children trafficked in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.
The US Department of State Report on Trafficking in Persons ranks Uganda under Tier II which means that Uganda does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in person but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
The biggest source of child trafficking is Karamoja and the most common scenario is of young girls brought from rural areas to work as domestic workers while some children are brought to city centres to work in scrap collection, forced begging, food vending and selling eggs among other foods and commodities.