Committed to the Cause: Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking

© UNODC

Non-governmental organization

Mutaawe Rogers,
Senior Program Manager, Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL)

As a local non-governmental organization, we provide advocacy, psychosocial support, and skills development to disadvantaged children and young people between the ages of 13 to 24 years.

Our Organization was established 27 years ago and since then we identify, rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate victims of trafficking, particularly children trafficked and exploited in commercial sex activities, labour and servitude, including domestic service.

I have joined UYDEL 17 years ago and supported over 1,000 child victims of trafficking.

My work also includes protection of trafficking victims. In this role I worked to identify and rescue over 100 victims in the past two years.

In my role as a Senior Program Manager, I feel proud when I can help to restore hope in victims, and to support them in becoming resilient and so able to rebuild their lives, despite their traumatic experiences.

The most challenging part of my job is insufficient funding for child trafficking interventions and the language barriers with foreign-born victims, as this delays conducting the case assessment and the provision of appropriate services during their rehabilitation.

My Organization provides temporary shelter to the victims, which also makes it difficult to establish trusting relationships needed for a victim to open up.

We have received financial support from UNODC for the past two years to help us with the implementation of our programmes.

With financial help from the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking Uganda is implementing a two-year project where my Organization operates a residential facility for victims. So far we managed to provide support to 120 trafficking victims.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we designed a social protection programme through which we distributed food and other essential products to 70 trafficking victims to reduce their vulnerability to falling prey to trafficking again.

We also provided online counselling and life skills training, as well as e-learning sessions to help young people to have better access to the job market and to sustainable economic livelihoods.