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Skidmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

Uganda: Global Development Studies


The purpose of this study was to evaluate labor migration in Uganda with a specific focus on the role labor recruitment agencies play in transporting people and how certain circumstances such as lack of knowledge of safe migration can leave people vulnerable to human trafficking. Labor externalization is beneficial specifically for developing countries because it provides jobs for the robust and available labor in these countries. Nonetheless, when reports appear that young girls are stranded abroad in the middle east after being taken there for work, labor recruitment agencies are first to receive the blame. Although Uganda issued a ban on travel to Oman for domestic work, many Ugandans are still sent there for work by unlicensed agencies or individuals. UAERA estimates that Uganda sends about 36,000 Ugandans abroad every year, but that number is significantly higher when the figures for victims trafficked abroad are added. Another challenge is that the provisions given to Ugandans who exit Uganda officially for domestic work are not accessible to people who are taken abroad through unofficial means -- or trafficked. Also characteristic of human trafficking is the victim’s total dependence on his or her employer. To ensure complete dependence and immobility a victim’s phone is taken from them upon entering their destination country and all travel documents are withheld until the end of the employment contract. For every step of the journey, an information gap exists of the regulations put in place to protect migrant workers. When the official procedures are unknown the victim is kept vulnerable to deception and exploitation and stakeholders remain unequipped in the fight against trafficking. Therefore, a large portion of this study focuses on prevention and awareness measures and their challenges in Uganda. This research is an exploratory study on the nature of human trafficking in Uganda and the aspects of its combat. As such, efforts on the 4ps of combat will be evaluated.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Behavioral Economics | Immigration Law | International Law | Migration Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social Welfare


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