Combatting Child Sacrifice in Uganda

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Using the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act to Combat Child Sacrifice in Uganda1 Introduction Child sacrifice is a relatively recent and growing phenomenon in Uganda.2 In 2008 and 2009, for example, the Ugandan Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force reported a total of 49 cases of child sacrifice in Uganda.3 Responding to this heinous crime, the Ugandan Parliament passed the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009 (PTPA), a statute designed to provide prosecutors with a comprehensive scheme to prosecute human trafficking.4 Importantly, the Act explicitly defines human trafficking to include the crime of child sacrifice.5 Despite the passage of this comprehensive Act, however, only one child sacrifice offender has been charged under the PTPA.6 Moreover, prosecutors and judges seem hesitant to deal directly with cases of child sacrifice, perhaps owing to bribery or the fear of potential repercussions from powerful witch


This Report was completed by the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law Student Staff. Students working on this paper included Heather Pate, Jeremy Ridgeway, Kathryn Heyer, Rebecca Vermette, and Jaclyn Walliser. The Center’s mission is to equip Christian advocates who will promote the rule of law and seek justice for the world’s downtrodden—the poor, the oppressed, and the enslaved—and to serve and support those already engaged in such advocacy. 2 Moses Binoga ‘State of Child Sacrifice in the Country’ (5th November 2009), Even more disturbing, studies suggest most cases of child sacrifice are not reported. “Working to Abolish Child Sacrifice in Uganda - Report by Eaco,”, accessed May 13, 2014, While these studies prove that children are being sacrificed, they also demonstrate that many more children are declared “missing” and likely become victims of child sacrifice, though they are not reported. UNICEF Uganda, “Child Sacrifice - Fact Sheet,”, accessed June 15, 2014, 3 Ibid. 4 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, Act 7. 5 Ibid. 6 “2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uganda,”, June 27, 2011, accessed June 13, 2014,


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