17 February 2007

Uganda: Adoption Could Be Cover for Traffickers

Kampala — Judges have warned of child trafficking for slavery and other abuses under the guise of adoption.

Child adoption became a thorny issue during the recent judges' conference as many called for stringent steps to be instituted, especially when foreigners seek to adopt Ugandan children. Some judges, however, advocated a relaxation of the laws regarding adoption.

The debate on child adoption was sparked off by Justice Eldad Mwangusya, head of the Family Division of the High Court, who said that adoption is turning into human trafficking, and called for tougher adoption laws.

A number of speakers called for relaxation of adoption laws, but the majority disagreed, saying that it creates easy hunting ground for slaves. They said that female children are more targeted for adoption than the males.

"There is this Western thing that children are being rescued from poverty, starvation and other ills from poor Africa ," Justice Moses Mukiibi observed. "But we are a sovereign State, proud of our people, our cultures what happens to these children when they are taken out?" he queried.

Mwangusya pointed out that the Madonna whirlwind adoption of a Malawian child sends a message to child traffickers that that country "is open for business".

Copyright © 2007 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.