DPP sets guidelines on prosecution of trafficking in persons cases
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines at Hotel African on Tuesday, the DPP said the guidelines will help the prosecut ...
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Justice Jane Frances Abodo has launched guidelines to aid prosecutors in dealing with cases of trafficking in persons.
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines at Hotel African on Tuesday, the DPP said the guidelines will help the prosecutors to distinguish between human trafficking and aggravated defilement.
She noted that there is a thin line between the two offences and some prosecutors have been encountering difficulties in identifying the two offences.
“I am confident that the guidelines will assist the prosecutors to deal with the offences with ease,” Abodo said.
Abodo observed that human trafficking is an offence that has not been given focus yet it is becoming more dangerous.
“The cases of human trafficking have skyrocketed following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and it is happening in our homes and happening more in Uganda than even outside because the ideal we had is that it happened more outside Uganda,” she noted.
Special Counsel to the DPP Human Trafficking Institute, an American-based institution, Tyler Dunman said the guidelines with aid, Ugandan prosecutors, to combat trafficking in persons and also assist the victims to overcome the trauma.
“The guidelines highlight effective practices and techniques in every phase of the prosecution process and should be used as a practical guide and a training tool for Ugandan prosecutors,” Dunman said.
Dunman equated the use of the guidelines as taking one to a college in one day and successfully prosecute a matter.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions James Odumbi explained that the guidelines are meant to ensure consistency and uniformity in the prosecution of trafficking in persons offences.
“The guidelines make one appreciate the law on trafficking in persons, how to gather the necessary evidence and how to present the evidence in court,” he said.
Rachel Bikhole, the head of the Anti-trafficking in person department at ODPP said the launch of the guidelines is a game changer in the prosecution of trafficking in person cases.
“Since we now have a guide in the prosecution of the cases, we believe our efforts in combating trafficking in-person cases have been strengthened,” Bikhole said.
Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija commended the DPP for the initiative saying developing guidelines are critical for the success of prosecution.
“If you don’t move together, you are likely to find each prosecutor doing his or her own things. Usually, when you have guidelines, you may differ on approach but at least you will have a common approach to issues,” Zeija said.
According to the 2021 data by the Human Trafficking Institute about 75% of trafficking in Uganda is domestic or internal.
It is further indicated that recruiters target girls and women aged between 13 and 24 for domestic sex trafficking, and child marriage.