Agnes Igoye

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has revealed that parents in Busia are using children to smuggle drugs across the borders.

Agnes Igoye, the Deputy Coordinator for the prevention of trafficking in persons, said incidents of using children and people with disabilities to traffic drugs were unearthed last week during the ongoing camp in the area.

“These are the trends in Busia, children are being used to smuggle Mira across the border and any other illegal substances. Children are being to push disabled people who are used to smuggle goods across the borders,” Igoye said.

Igoye’s revelation of children used to smuggle drugs mostly Mira is part of the ongoing investigations into cases of child disappearances mostly registered in Busia and Malaba borders.

According to Igoye, over 20 cases of missing children are being registered every month in the border town of Malaba and Busia.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs discovered the worrying figures about child disappearances in Tororo and Busia border districts. Igoye said they discovered that parents were willingly giving out their children to traffickers and many had not bothered to report. 

“The most common forms of trafficking were aggravated trafficking of children which is sexual exploitation followed by harmful child labour. Children are used to pushing people with disabilities. There is a lot of child abuse at home and this has forced children to run away,” Igoye adds.

Although police a fortnight ago were tasked to help in tracking parents of children being sexually exploited, Igoye explains that they have resorted to conducting sensitization programs targeting parents and children.

Parents are being taught about the importance of keeping children in schools and parental roles that include protecting them from any harmful situations like sexual abuse and child labour.

It is reported that many of the bars at the border points have girls below 18 years serving as waitresses purposely to attract customers and also offer sexual satisfaction. The Ministry of Internal Affairs explains that last month 38 cases of sexually exploited children were registered while others are being subjected to harmful labour.

The Police unit in charge of the prevention of human trafficking working alongside the ministry of internal affairs has since established that children who cross border points pushing adults with disabilities do not return. It is one of the tricks police and internal affairs ministry say have for years been used to make children cross borders and they are later sexually exploited in neighboring countries.

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