Ugandan legislators have moved to take action following reports that hundreds of local women were victims of human trafficking after having been duped into working as prostitutes and drug traffickers in Malaysia and other Asian countries.
Some women who managed to escape back to Uganda after being forced into sex work, and relatives of others who travelled to Asia, demanded that government take action to curb the illicit trade, which they described as rife.
Parliament heard that over 300 Ugandans were being held in Malaysian prisons over prostitution and drug trafficking.
“My daughter was told that she was going to work as a plane hostess after she graduated from Makerere University two years ago,” Nelly Namusisi, a mother of a 25 year-old woman working as a sex worker in Malaysia, said.
She said her daughter was approached by people who offered her a job in Malaysia and asked her to find raise for a plane ticket to the Asian country.
“I got her money to transport her there” says the distraught mother. “But, recently, she sent a message that upon arrival her hosts confiscated her passport and made her work as a prostitute.”
A few months ago two Ugandan women, who claim that they were forced into sex work after initially being offered jobs in a hotel, returned from Malaysia.
Following the revelations, Ugandan Members of Parliament sitting on the Equal Opportunities
Committee of Parliament announced they would soon travel to Malaysia on a fact finding mission to establish the number of Ugandans stuck in the Asian country.
The impending visit comes after reports that hundreds of Ugandan young women are stuck in Malaysia while some are being held in different prisons for committing crimes ranging from drug trafficking to prostitution.
“We will travel with a team of officials from the Consulate of Malaysia and Foreign Affairs Ministry to see the state of affairs with the women that are reported to incarcerated,” Hanifa Kawooya, chairperson of the committee said.
The legislators said they will meet with Malaysian government officials and seek the release and return of those serving in that country’s prisons, as well as those duped into prostitution.
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