By Jeff Andrew Lule
Most of the women who travel for domestic work in the United Arab Emirates and other countries are single mothers.
The deputy national coordinator of prevention of trafficking in persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Agnes Igoye, said statistics show that 98% of the offloads at Entebbe International Airport are single mothers.
She said the majority are running away from mainly domestic violence on top of other factors.
In an interview with New Vision, Igoye noted that since last year, 2021, the airport staff have been offloading people who are travelling without clear circumstances “and we know clearly are victims of trafficking.”
She said in 2021, they made 2,119 offloads between January and December, while from January to June, 2022, a total of 1,080 suspected victims of trafficking have been offloaded.
“We discovered many are running away from domestic violence; the children have been abandoned. So, we have to go back to the family to know what is happening to these women because they are not excited to go and do domestic work,” Igoye noted.
She stressed that many are going because they have no other alternatives.
“They have abandoned the women! You can’t have over 98% travelling because they want to take care of their children. What is happening to our families? Even when we give them the awareness, they tell you, I rather go and suffer, but I have to run away from this man; I have to run away from that family which is continuously keeping me in that situation of domestic violence,” Igoye noted.
She said there is a need for collective efforts to fight the trend.
“Much as people are moving to go and work, they should move because it is a choice, but not because they are running away from something,” Igoye added.
Raising airport vigilance
As part of activities to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, which falls on July 30, the Ministry of Internal Affairs department for the prevention of trafficking in persons has also embarked on training all staff at the airport to easily fight the vice.
The celebrations are slated to take place on July 30 in Entebbe, being one of the transit areas for traffickers.
“We want to make Entebbe International Airport a traffic-free zone. So, we are continuing with these trainings to create more vigilance among all staff,” Igoye said.