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The worst form of human trafficking

WASHINGTON, January 17, 2011— Human trafficking often involves prostitution and forced labor of victims. But in Uganda, traffickers buy and sell children against their will to use their genitals, heads, and blood for ritual sacrifice.

The U.S. Department of States recently reported 9000 children missing in Uganda over the last four years. Traffickers transport children both inside Uganda and to other countries for use in ritual sacrifices.  

In 2008, police arrested a witchdoctor couple and a real estate mogul, Godfrey Kajubi, for trafficking 12 year old Joseph for ritual sacrifice. According to the police, Kajubi promised the witchdoctor couple $4021 in exchange for the heads of four children, which he planned to use for ritual.   Kajubi paid $127 for Joseph’s head, and told the couple that he would pay the rest of the promised amount when the couple brought him three more human heads.

The witchdoctor later testified that Kajubi and his employee murdered Joseph, mutilated his body, cut off his head and genitals, drained the body of all blood and dumped the torso in a local swamp.

Police found Joseph’s head buried under Godfrey’s new construction site.  Many wealthy Ugandans believe burial of children’s body parts under construction sites will bring prosperity and wealth to their building sites. Traffickers take children and cut off their body parts to profit from wealthy customers.

In some cases, family members traffick children.

In 2010, ABC news reported a horrific story of a father killing his 17 month old son to sell his head for ritual sacrifice. The father said he wanted money to set up a business fixing bicycles, so he and his friend beheaded his infant son and sold his head to a wealthy businessman for $2000. According to the report, the businessman believed that the head of the child would bring him more wealth.

In other cases, exploiters traffic children to countries like the UK for blood ritual. According to a BBC report, ECPAT-UK, an anti-child trafficking organization, and British authorities say that traffickers smuggled at least 400 children from Africa over the past four years for ritual purposes.

After authorities rescued the children, the children said that traffickers subjected them to degrading treatment and forcibly extracted blood from them. Many children wanted to speak anonymously out of fear of retribution by their traffickers.

Many argue that child sacrifice is a relatively new phenomenon in Uganda. One Ugandan witchdoctor attributes the influence of Tanzanian witches for the rising number of child sacrifice. He argues that many Tanzanian witches taught Ugandan witches to perform child sacrifices.

Others say the recent economic development in Uganda is the cause behind increasing number of child sacrifice in the country. Pastor Peter Sewakiryaga, the founder of the Kyampisi Childcare Ministries church, told the BBC :

Child sacrifice has risen because people have become lovers of money. They want to get richer.


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