The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in partnership with the Human Trafficking Institute (HTI) successfully held the first Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Prosecutor Academy in Uganda from 7th to 11th November 2022 at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
The weeklong residential training was attended by 33 ODPP prosecutors. The topics covered related to the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases, victim protection strategies, utilizing expert testimony, financial investigations, trial advocacy and online exploitation.
Additionally, the training encompassed ‘training of trainer’ components designed to develop the
overall training skills and abilities of the prosecutors who attended.
On Friday evening, a formal closing ceremony for the academy was held with awards presentation and dinner.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo, Justice Mike Chibita – Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Damalie Lwanga, Director CID Tom Magambo, Assistant DPP Rachel Bikhole, Chief State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo, the International Crimes Department of the ODPP, Mbale Regional Office of the ODPP among others received awards from the Human Trafficking Institute for their significant dedication to ending Human Trafficking in Uganda.
The awards were presented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Human Trafficking Institute Mr. Victor Boutros.
The top presenters of the Academy who got certificates for outstanding presentations were Assistant DPP Alex Bagada, Chief State Attorney Deborah Itwau, Chief State Attorney Elima Doreen and Senior State Attorney/PRO Jacquelyn Okui.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo urged the trainees of the Academy to effectively share their learning with others so that in months and years to come, there is increasingly effective implementation of Trafficking in Persons laws and remarkable deterrence of Trafficking in Persons.
“Throughout the world, when prosecutors aggressively pursue and ensure that traffickers are punished, victims receive justice and community safety increases significantly for the most vulnerable,” she said, expressing her optimism that in the years to come, Uganda will become a global leader in the prosecution of Trafficking in Persons cases.
While appreciating the country for a job well done in fighting Trafficking in Persons, Mr. Victor Boutros said, “Uganda is becoming a beacon of global freedom.”
He noted that the country had been upgraded to Tier 2 by the United States Department of State’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report partly because of the phenomenal increase in prosecution of Trafficking in Persons cases.
He further remarked that traffickers can be stopped by empowering law enforcement teams; thus, the prosecutors that attended the Academy are going to stop many trafickers.