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".