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Uganda MPs to debate modern slavery, human trafficking in UK Parliament

MP Herbert Ariko the proprietor of a Member’s Bill on modern-day slavery led a delegation of Ugandan MPs to the UK. (FILE PHOTO)

LONDON – A seminar for parliamentarians and legislative drafters from across the Commonwealth is taking place in Westminster from 25-29 March.

Organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), the seminar will draw together some of the leading lawyers and practitioners working to bring an end to modern slavery-related crimes.

In attendance will also be parliamentarians at the forefront of reviewing and amending legislation and raising awareness of these issues in their constituencies.

Uganda’s delegation comprising MP Herbert Ariko will attend the seminar along with his colleagues MP Maurice Kibalya, MP Agnes Kunihara, and parliamentary officials John Miruni Tamale and Pius Biribonwoha.

The Global Slavery Index estimates that there are around 40 million victims of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour worldwide. In Uganda, there are particular challenges relating to forced labour in agriculture, services and industry as well as sex trafficking from neighbouring countries; with Sub-Sahara Africa recording the highest rate of child trafficking in the world.

Responding to these challenges, Uganda has created a Private Member’s Bill on modern-day slavery, introduced to parliament in January 2019.

The sponsor of the bill, Mr. Ariko, has been actively involved in CPA UK’s project on modern slavery, attending a regional workshop in Entebbe, the first legislative drafting seminar in Westminster and subsequently welcoming a CPA UK delegation led by UK MP David Hanson and legal expert Parosha Chandran.

Mr. Ariko MP stated ahead of the seminar: “We, the Ugandan delegation, are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to share views, experiences, and knowledge with other legislators and experts on the strategies to combat modern slavery in all its forms and facets.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Urmila Bhoola, stated:

“It is a great honour for me to be able to participate in the forthcoming seminar on legislative drafting organised by the CPA UK. It is a unique opportunity to engage with parliamentarians, who are a key stakeholder in addressing modern slavery, about key legislative and policy strategies to combat the scourge that taints the global economy, destroys human dignity and violates human rights.

The MPs from Uganda will also be joined by parliamentarians and officials from Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Malawi, Namibia, Kenya, Pakistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the UK.

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