Humphrey Fellow Takes on Human Trafficking
Since her work began for the Ugandan government over fourteen years ago, Agnes Igoye has been passionately committed to eradicating modern-day human trafficking. As Senior Immigration Officer/Training Coordinator for Uganda’s Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control, she is responsible for planning, designing, and conducting training activities on subjects such as irregular migration and counter trafficking. In 2009, in an effort to broaden her capacity in assisting victims of trafficking in her country, Agnes applied and was accepted to the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
During her time as Humphrey Fellow, Agnes fully embedded herself in the Minnesota anti- human trafficking community. She took part in the Women Foundation of Minnesota strategic planning of A FUTURE: Minnesota Girls Are Not for Sale Campaign, and regularly attended Minnesota State Task Force meetings.
Agnes was selected to participate in the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference in San Diego based on her commitment to provide housing, create scholarships, and help secure employment for trafficking victims in her home country, most of whom are women. At the conference, Agnes forged partnerships with others who are equally committed to making a difference in Africa. Additionally, she attended skills sessions in several areas, including fundraising and social media. “I could write a book about the benefits I received from attending the Humphrey Fellowship,” Agnes said.
Since returning to Uganda, Agnes has been working with “Coming Home”, a victim rehabilitation project undertaken by the umbrella organization Chain of Hope. She and other volunteers are currently providing assistance to 75 orphaned children, some of whom were abducted and trafficked by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and others who were victims of rape as a weapon of war. Chain of Hope is also partnering with other organizations that will help provide to the project education, books, fundraising, and training to law enforcement.
Agnes feels strongly that the Humphrey Fellowship helped prepare her for the work she is currently doing. “I am grateful for the opportunities the Humphrey Fellowship provided, including the professional networks and collaborations with US colleagues I continue to benefit from as I rehabilitate victims of trafficking, train law enforcement, and create awareness about human trafficking,” she remarked.