The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe launched the Anti-Trafficking using Satellite Technology for Uganda’s Sustainability (ASTUS) Project at a function held at Makerere University on 24th September 2020.
Introduction to ASTUS: Discovery Phase
ASTUS Discovery Phase is an 8-month International Partnership Programme (until 31 March 2021) funded by the UK Space Agency seeking to tackle Trafficking in Persons (TIP) by supporting anti-trafficking efforts in Uganda. As an UN Alliance 8.7 Pathfinder country, Uganda has demonstrated its commitment to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 8.7 to end TIP by 2030. ASTUS believes it can contribute to the existing efforts by helping to overcome data deficits in reliable prevalence mapping and estimation of TIP and associated indicators.
The project is being implemented by Makerere University, Hope for Justice and partners in the UK including Nottingham University (Lead), University of Dundee, AIR Bus and Trippleline. It is funded by the UK space Agency. At Makerere it is implemented by the Department of Social work and Social Administration and the Department of Geography. The Principal investigators include: Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaaze, Prof. Eddy Walakira and Dr. Badru Bukenya from Makerere University. In the UK: Professor Doreen Boyd, Prof. Mark Cutler, Prof. Lorrain and Dr. Hamsteede among others.
As a Uganda—UK partnership, ASTUS will work with stakeholders to develop a Modern Anti-trafficking Support System (MASS), underpinned by Earth Observation, with the aim of enhancing Uganda’s anti-trafficking efforts and progress towards SDG Target 8.7. Stakeholders will play a key role during this Discovery Phase with regard to mapping vulnerabilities and understanding the needs and capacities that exist within Uganda for a MASS. By shedding light on practices associated with TIP, how this is and/or could be monitored, and in what circumstances a MASS will be useful stakeholder engagement is invaluable for the system’s sustainability.
Through innovative combinations of Earth Observation data and socially-informed datasets, the MASS aims to provide actionable intelligence for different categories of end-users.
Read details on the project in the flyer below