Uganda: Prostitution Soars Amid Weak LawsImprimer Envoyer a un(e) ami(e)
Under the guise of offering them jobs in the city, unscrupulous people are taking young girls from their homes and forcing them into prostitution, according to a survey.
The survey which was released last year by the Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL), a non-government organisation, and commissioned by the Government, the number of girls ending up as young prostitutes has increased from 12,000 to 18,000 over the last seven years.
The study dubbed commercial sexual exploitation of children established that sexual exploitation is more prevalent in urban centres and affects girls more than boys.
The study also found that the age at which the children were getting involved in commercial sex was being lowered although most of the victims were between 14 and 17 years.
The study was carried out in Kampala, Masaka, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Gulu and Lira districts.
Others are Busia, Bugiri, Kasese and Mbarara. The survey showed that some districts served as sources while others were transit and destination areas.
Rogers Kasirye, the UYDEL executive director, says children coming from families were the bread winner is struggling to earn a living were the most affected.
Kasirye says most of the victims (88%) were out of school and had not gone beyond primary level.
The girls are taken to urban areas where they are employed as bar maids, while others are recruited into dancing groups such for example karaoke and strip dancing.
« If a bar owner can use good looking young girl who can entice men, then she will get more clients coming to the bar, » Kasirye said.
He said many of the girls, especially the shy ones are introduced to drugs in order to stand the rigors of the job.
« Most of the girls, especially those in karaoke groups are forced to take alcohol and marijuana, » he added.
The journey to prostitution
The girls are picked from the villages with promises of dream jobs in the city.
According to Kasirye, the girls are promised jobs such baby sitting and working as shop attendants among others.