Across Africa, traffickers who recruit, abuse, and sexually exploit vulnerable and impoverished women and children are going unpunished because governments and criminal justice systems are failing in their duty to hold perpetrators to account.
Take for instance, the horrific case of German national Bernhard Glaser, who was arrested in Ugandan in February 2019 and charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking and abusing girls aged 10 to 16 who were living at an unlicensed shelter Glaser had established ostensibly to "help" vulnerable children.
High levels of poverty alongside harmful cultural practices make girls particularly susceptible to sexual predators and traffickers, who take advantage of shortcomings in social safety nets, local child protection systems, law enforcement, and judicial processes.
Girls are particularly vulnerable to online grooming, sexual coercion, and sextortion, accounting for 90% of those featured in online child abuse materials.
Without functioning judicial oversight, girls' access to justice and protection from sexual exploitation will be undermined to an even greater extent.