Human Trafficking in the Wake of Labour Externalisation: How Responsive is the Justice System?

The increased externalisation of labour in Uganda has come along with increased incidents of human trafficking. Indeed, transnational trafficking—a silent and often invisible activity—is by far the most frequent offence committed; primarily involving female adults trafficked for labour and sexual exploitation. Evidence from the Uganda Police Force shows that notwithstanding the rising incidents of human trafficking, prosecution of this criminal offence remains low. More so, conviction rates are also extremely low mainly due to limited capacity (human and financial resources) to collect sufficient evidence and trace the perpetrators and the unavailability of victims to serve as witnesses. To address the challenge, the brief recommends measures such as scaling-up public sensitisation on and enforcement of the 2009 law on Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, and labour migration guidelines. Also, we advocate for enhancing the capacity of security agencies to handle human trafficking cases better and strengthening service provision to victim and survivors of trafficking.