At least eight Burundian girls were held last week in Uganda while being trafficked to the Asian countries according to the security officials in Kampala.
The Ugandan government while addressing the press this Monday August 30th, 2020 said that the eight Burundian girls who were stopped were being trafficked through Uganda.
“We don’t detain victims nor deport them. We place them in a secure place, protect their identities, take care of their needs including health, psychosocial etc and use lawful procedures to return them home. It is the traffickers that we arrest and detain and take to court,” Agnes Ogoye the Deputy National Coordinator for Prevention of trafficking in persons ministry of internal Affairs of Uganda told Burundi Times.
The Uganda Immigration Department said that the cases have surged of Burundian girls being trafficked through the country in the recent past.
Despite Burundi government’s crackdown, imposing strict measures to acquire travel documents, human trafficking in Burundi is still on a rise with most of the victims being trafficked to Asian countries.
The country’s security forces had in different occasions stopped and arrested several women linked in trafficking young girls, most of them were as young as 14 years of age.
In its 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States Department of State announced on June 30, 2021 that Burundi moved from Tier 3 (countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so) to Tier 2 Watch List (countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standard).
According to the report, during the past year, the government of Burundi has shown significant improvements that have led it to move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List: “significantly increased investigations and prosecutions of suspected trafficking offenses, convicted traffickers for the first time in six years, and referred victims to assistance for the first time in six years; institutionalized anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judicial officials; developed and implemented the country’s first-ever national data collection system on law enforcement’s efforts to combat human trafficking and trained prosecutors, judicial officials, and law enforcement on its use,” part of the report read.
Women have remained victims of human trafficking in Burundi and a local NGO that fights against transnational crime (OLCT) reported at least 527 girls and women were trafficked to Asian countries in 2017, and 2018 more than 250 girls and women were trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and UAE with 93 of them travelling to Qatar.