Workshop Educates Ugandan Stakeholders on Child Trafficking

July 2012

Continuing its efforts to combat human trafficking in Uganda, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) partnered with the Ugandan National Council for Children (NCC) to host a June 28 workshop in Kampala. The training addressed a range of issues, including enforcement of child labor laws and the provision of social services to children, and fostered awareness of the 2009 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (PTIP) Act.

According to pre-training survey, fewer than 15% of the participants were familiar with the provisions of the PTIP Act and best practices in victim identification. Participants praised the workshop, with Deputy Inspector Christine Hellen of the Child and Family Protection Unit of the Uganda Police commending the training component on victim identification and early intervention. The workshop’s participants hailed from more than 50 entities working to combat child labor, child exploitation and trafficking in persons in Uganda, including various ministries, the police and civil society organizations. By gathering professionals from across disciplines, the course also encourages increased coordination to combat human trafficking. 

In a letter of appreciation to ABA ROLI, NCC Secretary General Martin Kiiza encouraged long-term collaboration with ABA ROLI to help combat human trafficking in Uganda. Program Manager Dorah Mafabi, who leads ABA ROLI’s work in Uganda, emphasized that educating those charged with fighting trafficking was but one piece of the puzzle. “Trafficking will only continue if the public isn’t aware,” Mafabi said, calling on the government to sponsor an awareness campaign modeled on those designed to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the 1990s. 

In a related article published by the Daily Monitor, Uganda’s second-largest newspaper, Mafabi stated, “Law enforcement officers, judges, magistrates and legal practitioners [now] have little excuse for not understanding the concept and law prohibiting human trafficking and enforcing it.”

To learn more about our work in Uganda, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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