Modern Day Slavery In Soroti

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Investigations by NBS’ Canary Mugume into child trafficking in Uganda led him to Arapai Market in Soroti. Arapai market is the second biggest market in the region and to most looks like any other market in the country with numerous goods for sale but unfortunately human beings are commodities as well.

Throughout the investigation it was noted that mostly young girls were on sale most notably from the Karamojong region with a range of 8 to 18 years. It was a disturbing sight as the transactions were done openly like it was normal. When approached to “purchase” some girls by the undercover team, the parents looked unbothered by the fact that they were selling off the children that they bore for as little as UgX50,000, which weirdly is insufficient for the purchase of a goat. There delight in most parents could however be attributed to the widespread poverty in the region whereby parents would rather sell off their children in the hope they can be fed and housed as well as earning money that can feed them for a few weeks.

Mother with her girls she put for sale

Local leaders and police cast a blind eye to the act claiming they had never heard of such a thing and yet the District Probation Officer attached to the Ministry of Gender said he was aware of the trend. He went on to further say that Soroti is a transit and harboring center for the trade before being transported to Busia, Kenya, Malaba and most notably Kampala where they are commonly seen on streets as beggars.