Joint security, Leaders Strategize on Ending Child Trafficking in Karamoja Sub region

By George Emuron




Joint Security commanders and senior leaders in Karamoja have pledged to end child trafficking in the Karamoja Sub region.


The senior leaders re-echoed their stand as they met on Tuesday, 4th June, 2024 during a joint stakeholders meeting chaired by Major General, Don William Nabasa and attended by security, judicial officers and district leaders from Napak district local government held at Lopeei Sub county headquarters in Napak district.


Major General Don William Nabasa, 3rd, Division Commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) asserted that child trafficking renders a security threat to the country if not tackled.


“We must tackle child trafficking at grassroot level to save the plight of Karamojong children and guarantee their future,” Gen Nabasa emphasized.


He urged parents to be responsible, ensure discipline of their children and report cases of human/child trafficking or disappearance of their children timely to authorities.


The Division Commander appealed to leaders to talk to parents to strike a balance between their love for livestock which they treasure so much and children. He encouraged local leaders and parents to engage and embrace production initiatives like the Parish Development Model and embrace compulsory education in order to foster socio-economic transformation.


Mr. Okori Denis, Resident District Commissioner for Napak noted that the District council made a deliberate effort and resolution that no repatriated child from Kampala and other urban centers should go home but rather stay in the two earmarked boarding schools.


He called for Usalama Kwa Wote approach of profiling some collaborators and agents of human trafficking who are profiteering from the venture.


The Regional Police Commander for Mount Moroto region, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Francis Chemusto explained that the strict enforcement of the laws on child/human trafficking will not spare any offenders and promised to strengthen community policing as well.


Hon Paul Kodet, Napak District Chairperson mentioned that Lokopo, Lopeei and Lorengccorwa primary schools have been mapped out for child protection programs.


In February 2024, through collaborative efforts Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) conducted an enforcement operation and rounded up 1044 people (Youth, children and women) out of these 938 were found to be from Napak upon screening.


One hundred fifty persons were sentenced to one month community service by court, 60 were taken for skilling while 308 of school going age 6-15 years were enrolled in Lotome Girls and Lokodiokodioi primary schools. Whereas, 138 children of below 5 years remained in Masulita UWESO children’s home for ECD training.


The meeting found out that the root causes of child/human trafficking stem from poverty, peer influence, early/forced marriages, diseases and criminality among others. A number of resolutions were made aimed at ending child/human trafficking.


The senior leaders who also toured and interacted with pupils in the two schools, thanked partners, namely UNICEF, Koinonia Ministries, Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) Dwelling Places, C&D Moroto for their continued support in the provision of scholastic materials to repatriated children in the two schools. They promised to intensify the campaign against child trafficking at grassroot.


Maj Isaac Oware, the 3rd division army spokesperson confirmed this saying the meeting was attended by Mr Achoko Abraham Moding Chief Magistrate Moroto, Lt Col Deo Kagoro, Director Operations Usalama Kwa Wote (ISO), Lt Col Morris Twongeirwe, 403 BOTO, Ms Florence Talamoi Principal Education Officer, councilors and LC 1 Chairpersons, among others.


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