Ugandan girls are escaping from their homes and crossing the border to Kenya, for fear of Female Genital Mutilation.
Agnes Igoye the Deputy National Coordinator, Prevention of Trafficking in Persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs says at least 70 girls are set to be brought back home from Kenya.
She however says it will only be safe, if these girls are not subjected to the horror they had escaped from has been dealt with.
The girls from the Pokot Border community in Amudat district.
While addressing the media at Police Headquarters Naguru this morning, Ms. Igoye reiterated that the Prevention of trafficking in persons Act 2009 properly details exploitation which includes; the removal of body organs or parts for sale; for purposes of witchcraft, harmful rituals of practices.
“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a harmful ritual. Because it a ritual is where purportedly a girl moves to becoming a woman which has implications. That is why there are a lot of children being married off after FGM) which means that we have to deal with it as a crime at that level” Ms. Igoye says.
She further explains that so many stakeholders will be involved during the return of the 70 girls, to ensure that they do not go through this horror.
About 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM. In Uganda, the ritual is common in the east and northeastern regions.
In Amudat district particularly, FGM is said to be a bigger problem than COVID-19. A February 2021 UNICEF Report indicates that students in Amudat used to find refuge at school. Now some parents are using the closure as an advantage to cut their daughters in gardens.
Girls as young as 13 years old are cut, and two years later, married off to earn their fathers cows.