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Fight against human trafficking in Karamoja

Together with our local partner organization ECO, we support smallholder families in Karamoja to improve their living conditions, food and nutrition security, and reduce their risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

We support smallholder families to improve their living conditions, food security and nutrition, while reducing their exposure to human trafficking. (Photo: AWO International/ECO)
We support smallholder families to improve their living conditions, food security and nutrition, while reducing their exposure to human trafficking. (Photo: AWO International/ECO)

The Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda is one of the poorest areas in the world. Food security is the most insecure in the national comparison. Around 82 percent of the people live in absolute poverty and around 45 percent of the children receive only one meal a day. Ongoing climate change is increasingly leading to drought, dryness or flooding in the region. As a result, the threat of crop losses is significant, especially since there is only one harvest season.

Discrimination against women is still very common in Karamoja. Women often have poorer access to the labor market, less entitlement to own property, few decision-making rights in family planning and poorer access to food. Furthermore, violence against women is a major problem. According to a 2016 study, 54 percent of adolescent girls have already given birth by the age of 19. The risk of under-nourishment and developmental disabilities is considerably increased for these children.

To escape poverty and vulnerability, many children and adolescents seek to migrate to larger cities. In many cases, this migration takes place in an unsafe environment and their risk of becoming victims of trafficking is high. It is not uncommon for children, youth and women to find themselves in sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Together with our partner organization ECO, we carry out projects to support smallholder families in improving their living conditions and creating new perspectives.

Farmers and savers associations facilitating the acquisition of new skills

In the farmer and saving associations, people work together to learn new knowledge and skills. They grow vegetables in demonstration gardens and plant new fruit trees. The program also includes setting up granaries to be better prepared for possible crop failures. New agricultural methods are being implemented to ensure that farming and harvesting are successful despite the effects of climate change. These include, for example, the use of drought-resistant crops or the introduction of crop rotation. Access to up-to-date weather forecasts will also be provided to farmers.

In addition to the knowledge on climate-adapted agriculture and nutrition, an expansion of income is also addressed. Beekeeping or nursery management are two of the possible new sources of income. By developing business plans, participants are prepared for successful entrepreneurial implementation. Saving together as a group makes it possible for them to give each other loans. These are used, for example, to start a business or to cover costs for schooling and health.

Studying in school clubs

School clubs are established to engage with young people in the region. Students learn about family planning, sexual health and environmental protection, and are made aware of the risk of human trafficking. They deal with the topics in a creative way: music, dance and drama are used as methods and thereby help to strengthen the students in their role as multipliers. They actively distribute their newly acquired knowledge and sensitize their environment to the topics they have learned.

Committees against human trafficking

To create further outreach on the topic of human trafficking, media such as radio and TV are used. Talk shows, documentaries and reports inform people and draw their attention to the risk. Two newly established anti-trafficking committees monitor the region and report cases to the police and other actors. Local health teams are trained to provide information on sexual/reproductive health and family planning methods to communities. They also provide education on balanced nutrition and advocate for gender equity.

Our project contributes to achieving these sustainable development goals, for example. For more information on the global sustainability agenda, please visit our Sustainable Development page.


Project Improved livelihoods and food security for agro-pastoral communities in Nabilatuk and Napak districts: preventing human trafficking
Place/Region Nabilatuk and Napak Distrikt, Karamoja Region
Partner Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)
Target group Vulnerable smallholder farmers, at risk of being trafficked , a total of 7,000 beneficiaries
  • Establishment of 6 farmers and savers groups.
  • Distribution of drought resistant seeds and agro-inputs
  • Establishment of demonstrative gardens
  • Introduction of energy-saving stoves for climate protection
  • Trainings on entrepreneurship, income-generating activities and business development
  • Establishment and strengthening of 2 committees against human trafficking
  • Broadcasting of radio and TV programs on family planning, gender justice and human trafficking
  • Establishment of 5 school clubs for awareness raising on human trafficking, environmental protection, family planning and sexual health
  • Establishment of five school gardens for safe and balanced nutrition
  • Introduction of a goat farm
  • Establishment of two catastrophe prevention and environmental committees
  • Conducting quarterly climate change reflection meetings
  • Training six health teams to provide information on family planning methods
Duration Oktober 2019 – Dezember 2022
Budget 276.500 EUR
Sponsor BMZ SFF

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