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Cablegate: Uganda: President Signs Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law

VZCZCXRO7017
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1219 2951155
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221155Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1881
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001219

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KWMN KCRM UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA: PRESIDENT SIGNS ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS LAW

REF: KAMPALA 00027

1. Summary: On October 1, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed
the long-awaited "The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act"
which contains provisions to protect victims, prosecute traffickers
and prevent trafficking in Uganda. By criminalizing human
trafficking, the Act places Uganda in compliance with the "United
Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children," which the Government of
Uganda has signed but not yet ratified. End summary.

2. Uganda has long had special challenges in dealing with
trafficking and other crimes involving women and children. Over
10,000 children in northern Uganda remain unaccounted for and were
likely victims of human trafficking that occurred during the
1986-2006 Lord's Resistance Army insurgency. More recently, a 2008
Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Affairs report estimated that a
total of 72,000 women and children in Uganda were sold into
commercial sexual exploitation in 2008.

3. The Act specifies a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment for
trafficking in persons; imprisonment for life for aggravated
trafficking in persons; the death penalty for trafficking children;
and 10 years imprisonment for using the labor services of a
trafficked person. Persons who fail to disclose to the authorities
the committing of a trafficking offense are liable to three years
imprisonment or a fine USD 30,000. The Act also stipulates that
citizens have a duty to report trafficking or face six months
imprisonment or a USD 50,000 fine. (Note: Although the Act carries
a penalty of capital punishment for the trafficking of children,
Uganda has not applied capital punishment since the 1990s and a
number of convicted felons remain permanently on death row. End
note).

4. Comment: Signing the anti-trafficking bill is the latest
achievement in Uganda's efforts to prevent and prosecute trafficking
in persons. In 2008, State Department G/TIP funding provided
counter-trafficking training to 2,010 law enforcement officers.
Also in 2008, Ugandan police created a new counter-trafficking unit
(reftel).

LANIER

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