Entebbe: Immigration intercepts trafficked underage girls

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The girls who were being taken out of the country

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has intercepted underage girls being trafficked out of Uganda to overseas countries.

Pamela Ankunda, the former Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] spokesperson who now sits at the Consumer Affairs desk, said the incident happened at Entebbe airport Thursday afternoon.

“Glad the Immigration officers have stopped underage girls who were flying out as Migrant Workers,” Ankunda noted.

She added:”…use of the ID. Let sanity prevail. Thank you ministry of Internal Affairs, thank you so much for this.”

According to Ankunda, an  Immigration Officer insisted that the girls show their national identity cards to prove their age.

“Some didn’t have the IDs. Their stories differed from IDs are lost IDs, were stolen to we forgot to register.”

She said the owner of the company which is not yet named was enroute the airport to explain.

Jacob Siminyu, the spokesperson of the Immigration directorate, told edge.ug he was still gathering details of the incident and would get back to us.

Trafficked girls

In December 2017, a Ugandan domestic worker Shahira begged her employer in Oman to let her go home, after he sexually harassed her and his wives spat at her. When they refused, she committed suicide.

On February 7, 2019, Daily Monitor reported that Joyce Nanyonjo and Resty Namusisi, two Ugandan girls trafficked through Kenya to Oman were being held by a recruiting agency on grounds that it be refunded money it paid to their trafficker.

The girls, who were trafficked through Kenya, also face jail if they fail to meet the conditions set by their captors before they can be sent back home.

The trafficker identified as Issa Kisekka of Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District, was paid more than $4,000 (about Shs14m) by the Oman-based agency for the two girls.

He reportedly takes at least Shs1m from each of the girls before he takes them to the Middle East for work.

Kadaga calls for ban

Speaking on human trafficking this month, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga asked that Ugandans shouldn’t work as housemaids because that kind of work is hard to monitor.

She said there are fake labour export companies and that it is a shame that some Ugandans are involved in selling their own people.

“One time, a Ugandan working in Abu Dhabi told me how he works during day and watches children during the entire night.”

She added: “We have always asked government to set minimum working hours and wage for Ugandans working in UAE.”

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