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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Eastern Africa lawyers warning of increase in human trafficking

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Lawyers from the Eastern African region have warned of an increase in human trafficking, noting that the vice could grow bigger than arms smuggling if not checked.

The lawyers from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia were meeting here on Thursday under the theme “strengthening regional responses towards child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.”

They said countries need a multi-national approach to fight the crime since it is cross border.

“We also wanted to reemphasize how rampant child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are in the region and the need to deliberately report on them,” said Mercy Grace Munduru, an official from the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers.

The lawyers noted that human trafficking was sometimes being carried out by high ranking public officials, which makes it complicated to fight.

They said since human trafficking was run by large organized crime networks, it was most likely to perpetuate other security threats like arms proliferation and smuggling.

The meeting recommended that member countries vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offences and convict and punish traffickers, including government officials suspected of complicity.

Human trafficking earns profits of roughly 150 billion U.S. dollars a year for traffickers, according to a 2014 report by the International Labor Organization. Of that 99 billion dollars is from commercial sexual exploitation.

The root origin of most of the victims is Africa, with destinations such as western Europe. 

           

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