KENYA (TIER 2) [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Kenyan children are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude, forced labor in agriculture (including on flower plantations), cattle herding, in bars, and for commercial sexual exploitation, including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry. In 2008, internally displaced persons residing in camps as a result of post-election violence reportedly were trafficked within the country. Kenyan men, women, and children are trafficked to the Middle East, other East African nations, and Europe for domestic servitude, exploitation in massage parlors and brothels, and forced manual labor, including in the construction industry. Employment agencies facilitate and profit from the trafficking of Kenyan nationals to Middle Eastern nations, notably Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Lebanon. Children are trafficked to Kenya from Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Most trafficked girls are forced to work as barmaids, where they are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, or are forced directly into prostitution. Ethiopian and Somali refugees residing in camps and Nairobi’s Eastleigh section are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani women reportedly transit Nairobi en route to exploitation in Europe’s commercial sex trade.
The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Post-election violence and the subsequent government reorganization delayed a number of anti-trafficking initiatives, such as the enactment of anti-trafficking legislation and the passage of a draft national action plan. While local-level law enforcement officials across the country continued to arrest and charge alleged traffickers throughout the year, prosecutions failed to progress and data on such cases was not compiled at the provincial or national level. In addition, the government did not allocate adequate resources dedicated to anti-trafficking measures during the reporting period.
Recommendations for Kenya: Pass, enact, and implement the draft comprehensive anti-trafficking law; provide additional awareness training to all levels of government, particularly law enforcement officials, on identifying and responding to trafficking crimes; increase efforts to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; establish an official process for law enforcement officials to refer trafficking victims for assistance; and institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas.
The Department of Public Prosecutions reported three ongoing investigations for trafficking-related offenses and no prosecutions during the reporting period; the department was unable to produce data on the number of charges related to trafficking filed during the year. Despite this inability to gather and disseminate information at the national level, district courts reportedly heard several trafficking cases during the reporting period. In June 2008, the Loitokitok District Court arraigned a Kenyan woman on charges of trafficking a 17-year old Ugandan girl to her home for domestic servitude and subjecting her to cruelty; further details on this case were unavailable. In October 2008, two women were charged in a Nairobi court with forcing two young girls into prostitution. In March 2009, 119 parents and guardians of 209 children were charged in an Eldoret court with abusing their children by removing them from school and forcing them to work as domestic servants. In addition, the government cooperated with the United Kingdom, Ireland, and INTERPOL in the investigation and prosecution of at least two transnational trafficking cases involving Kenyan children during the reporting period. Laws against forced labor were not well enforced, though in June 2008, the Ministry of Labor raided and shut down an unregistered recruitment agency that was illegally sending Kenyan migrant workers to Dubai. With the assistance of NGO lecturers, the Kenya Police Training College provided anti-trafficking and child protection training to police recruits during their training as cadets. Corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials continued to hamper efforts to bring traffickers to justice; anti-trafficking activists made credible claims that, in certain regions, corrupt police or border officials were complicit in human trafficking. The government made no efforts to investigate or prosecute officials suspected of involvement in or facilitation of trafficking during the reporting period.