A walk to raise awareness about human trafficking took off Saturday morning. Starting in Lubowa on Entebbe Road, the walk led by Vision Group Chief Executive officer, Robert Kabushenga proceeded to Entebbe.
The walk was organized by Rehab Uganda, an organisation that has been at the forefront of fighting exploitation of girls.
According to Ketrah Kamugasa, one of the leaders of the organisation, the walk has been held annually for the last four years. She said they were inspired to start this orgnisatisation by the need to rescue girls and women who were victims of human trafficking, adding that they used Entebbe Road because it is the route of trafficking, although, she adds, the traffickers have in the last few years changed route and use the road up to Nairobi, Kenya before the girls are put onto the planes to the Middle East and Asia.
She said many girls, including university girls are lured into this by promises of good jobs abroad. However, once they reach there, they are taken into brothels to work as sex slaves. She says others are employed as domestic workers, although they are also sexually abused.
She says once they get sick and can no longer work as sex slaves, they are killed and buried there and their relatives in Uganda will never hear about them again.
She says globally, there are 27 million victims of human trafficking and 80% of these come from Africa. She says unfortunately, only 2% are rescued.
Kamugasa also says the trade earns the perpetrators over $9.5b, saying Nigeria leads in trafficking children as young as nine years.
She says the money collected from the walk is used for rehabilitation of the rescued girls, which includes counselling them and taking them back to school. Each walker paid sh50,000 and sh20,000 for students.