Crime

Kasese Police Join Forces with Community, NGOs to Eradicate Human Trafficking, Forced Marriages, Child Labor

BY JOACKIM KULE

In a dedicated effort to combat human trafficking, forced marriages, and child labor within Kasese district, the local police have taken a significant step by collaborating closely with the community.

This pledge was made during a one-day human rights advocacy meeting at Virina Gardens in Kasese town. The event saw the convergence of law enforcement officers, civil society organizations, and various government agencies, all united in the common cause of ending these exploitative practices.

The meeting, orchestrated by Kasese Platform Advocacy Network (KAPLANET), a non-governmental organization committed to bolstering community advocacy and initiatives against rights violations, primarily focused on addressing the critical issues of human trafficking, child labor, and forced marriages in Kasese.

During the gathering, ASP Ismail Kaawo, the Rwenzori East Regional Human Rights and Legal Officer, emphasized the significance of collaborating with community members who often witness these rights abuses firsthand.

He issued a cautionary note, urging individuals not to endorse companies that recruit laborers without the requisite permits from the relevant ministry, as these firms can inadvertently lead individuals into the perilous realm of human trafficking.

SP Luka Mbusa, the Rwenzori Regional Community Liaisons Officer, underscored the essential role that residents play in the fight against these injustices.

He stressed that the success of the endeavor hinges upon community members refusing to collude with perpetrators once they are identified. He also encouraged residents to report any instances where police officers solicit money to resolve problems, emphasizing that such behavior should be promptly reported.

From the perspective of Ms. Immaculate Kobusingye, the Uganda Human Rights Legal Officer at Kasese branch, the goal encompasses the elimination of forced marriages and the prevention of child labor, particularly concerning children under the legal working age of 18. Annette Kobusinge, who serves as the Project Officer for Ending Violence against Children and Women, highlighted their findings, which reveal the psychological toll on children subjected to forced labor.

These victims frequently experience adverse emotional effects, including depressed moods, low self-esteem, and frustration.

However, Mr. Emmy Mwesige Kayiri, the Kasese Municipal Education Officer, offered an appeal to both the police force and other civil organizations.

He requested an extension of sensitization meetings to educational institutions, ensuring that young individuals are equipped with the awareness and knowledge necessary to protect themselves against such forms of exploitation.

As Kasese district takes a collective stand against human trafficking, forced marriages, and child labor, the collaboration between law enforcement, civil society organizations, and concerned citizens demonstrates a determined effort to safeguard human rights and secure a safer future for the community.

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