A total of 96 girls of Ugandan origin were intercepted in Kenya en route to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, January 15, as reported by Ugandan news outlet, Daily Monitor.
The girls, reportedly minors aged between 14 and 18 years, were intercepted at JKIA, Nairobi where they were preparing to board a plane to the United Arab Emirates.
According to the publication, the girls who are believed to hail from Napak District in Karamoja Sub-region in Uganda were handed over to the Ugandan authorities at the Busia border.
Over the recent years, there has been an increase in incidents of human trafficking involving African nations and those from the Middle East, notably, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as indicated by the 2019 Trafficking of Persons Report.
Most of the girls and women that end up in those countries work odd jobs. According to the publication, over 140,000 Ugandan girls are holed up in the Middle East.
Busia Deputy Resident District Commissioner Paul Kalikwan informed that the minors were rescued through a joint effort between the Kenyan and the Ugandan authorities as part of a campaign against human trafficking.
Busia District Police Commander Patrick Lule stated that the girls would be presented to the Ugandan Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social Development to reunite them with their families.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2019 reported that human trafficking had become a menace in East Africa over the past decade.
This is mainly attributed to the social, economic and humanitarian crises that have rocked the region.
“Like many other forms of criminal activity, it takes advantage of conflicts, humanitarian disasters and the vulnerability of people in situations of crisis. Men, women and children are abducted and sold for sexual exploitation and forced labour,” the report reads in part.