We focus on combating domestic child trafficking, from the origin in Karamoja to the destination, Uganda's capital Kampala. Our work centres on both survivors and children at high risk of trafficking: 210 survivors are supported to return home and resume education, while 440 vulnerable children are protected by keeping them in school. A local child protection network of community champions deals with child rights abuses including potential trafficking, thus functioning as an early intercepter.
Karamoja is one of Uganda's poorest regions. Drought, cattle rustling, food insecurity combined with high illiteracy and unemployment rates all lead to a push to the capital Kampala. Children used to be trafficked for begging on the city's streets. Since donations to street children were outlawed, children have instead been exploited in child labour and sexual exploiation. The ban on begging has not stopped the trafficking, in fact, it has put children at higher risk of abuse and exploitation.
Survivors of child trafficking are rescued from the streets and resettled in Karamoja. The children and their families receive support so that the push for re-trafficking decreases. Returned children and their siblings are helped with education, so that they can focus on a better future. Parents and families are supported in creating new sources of income with which they can increase their standard of living and eventually take up the financial responsibility for the education of their children.
An informal local child protection network is initiated that focuses on child abuse, exploitation and trafficking. This network ensures there are 'eyes and ears' all over the district. Moreover, preventing child trafficking or migration is a key priority, in Karamoja and in Kampala. Awareness about children's rights, particularly child trafficking, takes place through music, dance and drama competitions. These events are held for and by children, with the children acting as agents of change.