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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                               

Republic of Kenya

The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low.

In 2006 the World Bank and IMF delayed loans pending action by the government on corruption. The international financial institutions and donors have since resumed lending, despite little action on the government's part to deal with corruption. Post-election violence in early 2008, coupled with the effects of the global financial crisis on remittance and exports, reduced GDP growth to 2.2% in 2008, down from 7% the previous year.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Kenya

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Kenya.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Step up sensitization on the plight of street children, urges VP

VPPS, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Oct 01, 2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Mr. Awori said Kenya is estimated to host more than 300,000 children and youth on the streets who engage in survival tactics that endanger their well being and that of the society.  "Most of them are abused, neglected, exposed to criminal and gang activities, suffer poor health due to their lifestyles and exposure to harsh environment, drug and substance abuse, and exposure to HIV/AIDS infection", he lamented.  He said the large numbers of children who live and work in the streets is a reflection of some of the most intractable development challenges of the society, which he attributed to lack of proper education and family guidance in upbringing.

Kenya: Naivasha Town Bursting at the Seams With Street Families

Macharia Mwangi, Daily Nation, Nairobi, 18 January 2008

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Naivasha Town will soon be bursting at the seams with street children and street adults. And thanks to a flourishing horticultural industry that has attracted many job seekers, the town's population is exploding.  Many such job seekers end up in the back streets where they beg, bowl in hand. Those below 10 years station themselves at major shops soliciting for alms from shoppers, while others survive on dump sites from which they forage for food.  But there is order.  Newcomers who fail to adhere to the street rules are punished and the incorrigible ones driven out of town.

OWN RULES - "We have our own rules, regulations and guidelines," says Peter Njoroge.  The streets have been zoned off into three different categories known as "base", and depend on the age-group and experience in the streets.

The Kaduma street children are not allowed to stray into the territory of the older colleagues, unless they have an urgent message to deliver.  Those flouting the rules are beaten up by the "disciplinary committee" members.

Street children kill guard in night raid

Mathias Ringa And Eunice Machuhi, Daily Nation, June 10, 2008

[accessed 18 January 2017]

One security guard was killed and another is fighting for his life at Coast General Hospital in Mombasa after a vicious attack by some street children, a police official said on Monday.  Mombasa police boss Patrick Wafula suspected that the street urchins might have attacked the guards at Nafasi Auto World since the assailants stole vehicle side mirrors and wipers.


*** ARCHIVES ***

How Covid-19 is changing the lives of street children

Life just got harder for them due to reduced human traffic, but some cartels use them to sell drugs

Patrick Vidija, The Star, 30 July 2020

[accessed 8 February 2023]

Stano said the streets are so tough and begging is not an easy task. On normal days before coronavirus, it was a bit easier for them to scavenge and get food to eat. But currently, the pandemic has made the already hostile streets unbearable.  “There are no hotels or eateries to give us leftovers. No hawkers are selling food in town, so my brother things are really tough for us,” he said.

Stano said they would meet up in town and gather around some of the big screens installed on buildings to watch news and other entertainment programmes, but due to curfew, all that has been taken away from them.  He said by 6pm, they leave town headed for the slums because at least there, they will find a peaceful night away from police harassment.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 16 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There are large numbers of street children in Kenya’s urban centers, many of whom are involved in illegal activities such as theft and drug trafficking.  There is a high incidence of child prostitution in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi and Mombasa.  There are also reports of widespread prostitution among girls who hawk or beg by day, and work as prostitutes by night

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Economic displacement and the spread of HIV/AIDS continued to affect the problem of homeless street children. In 2002 the East African Standard reported an estimated 250 thousand children living on the streets in urban areas (primarily Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru); this figure was a conservative estimate. These children often were involved in theft, drug trafficking, assault, trespassing, and property damage. Street children faced harassment as well as physical and sexual abuse from police and within the juvenile justice system.

The government provided programs to place street children in shelters and assisted NGOs in providing education, skills training, counseling, legal advice, and shelter for girls abused by their employers. In 2003 the government provided an employment program for orphans and abandoned youth that included training and subsidized employment, but its effectiveness was limited. By November 231 of 300 street children in the National Youth Service had graduated from vocational courses.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 12 October 2001

[accessed 16 February 2011]

[35] The Committee is concerned about the incidence of police brutality, particularly against street children, refugee children and those in conflict with the law. Concern is also expressed at the inadequate enforcement of existing legislation to ensure that all children are treated with respect for their physical and mental integrity and their inherent dignity.

[51] The Committee is concerned about widespread poverty and the increasingly high numbers of children in the State party who do not enjoy the right to an adequate standard of living, including children belonging to poor families, AIDS orphans, street children, internally displaced children, children of ethnic minorities and children living in remote rural communities.

[57] The Committee expresses grave concern at the high and increasing numbers of street children. In particular, the Committee notes their limited access to health, education and other social services, as well as their vulnerability to police brutality, sexual abuse and exploitation, economic exploitation and other forms of exploitation.

[59] The Committee notes with appreciation that the State party has signed a memorandum of understanding with ILO and that various ILO/International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) programs to prevent and combat child labor are being carried out. The Committee also welcomes the establishment of a National Steering Committee on child labor. Nevertheless, and in the light of the current economic situation, the increasing number of school drop-outs and the increasing number of street children, the Committee is concerned about the large number of children engaged in labor and the lack of information and adequate data on the situation of child labor and economic exploitation in the State party. The Committee notes also with concern that notwithstanding various legal provisions there is no firm minimum age for admission to employment and that child labor is still prevalent in the State party.

[61] The Committee notes that the State party participated in the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation, held in Stockholm in 1996, and subsequently established a National Plan of Action to prevent and combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children. However, the Committee is concerned about the large and increasing number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography, especially among those engaged in domestic labor and street children. Concern is also expressed at the insufficient programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children who are the victims of such abuse and exploitation.

Street Life in Kenya

Ochieng' Ogodo, IslamOnline, May 10, 2009

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 June 2011]

“Sometimes you feel that the world has neglected you with all the cold merciless winds of suffering raging against you. You have no space and you just want to die,” summed up Ramadhan Njogu ugua a.k.a ‘Msani’, with many years experience on the streets of Nairobi.

With a distant look in his eyes from under the curved shade of a peaked cap, he breathed rather heavily and blurted out: "It has been difficult -- very tough. Years have rolled by, and life has been extremely tormenting. Living in the streets is no easy undertaking".

"Society does not accept you. People look at you very suspiciously whenever you walk around".

FROM THE BEGINNING - Born into a poverty stricken and quarrelsome family, Mbugua left school when attending class three at primary school.  He hit the streets at the age of about 11, in 1998.

My 30-year mission to teach the slum children of Nairobi, April 15 2009

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Although heart-warming to hear the success stories of ex-street children who received their education and a chance in life thanks to the Sisters of Mercy and their donors in Ireland, the smile quickly fades when you hear the dangers faced by a child living on the streets.   Few people in Nairobi know more than Sr Mary just how deadly this life can be.   "In my 30 years of work with street girls," she says, "I've only met one girl over seven years of age who hasn't been sexually abused."   Sr Mary recounts the story of a gang of 10 "very wild street girls" between 10 and 12 years of age that would make St Trinian's schoolgirls look like angels.   The girls approached her in 1991 requesting the opportunity to begin primary school. None had attended school up until then.

They then told how one day they met some Europeans who offered them drugs and filmed them carrying out acts that were so depraved it took them months before they could even speak about the horrors of that night.   All the girls had worked as prostitutes before coming to school and their persistent pimps would follow them from prison to school, attempting to lure them back onto the streets again.   "There was no way of stopping them if they wanted to go back," says Sr Mary. "Some of the girls couldn't live without the money and the drugs."   Out of the group of 10, two went back with their pimps, five finished secondary school and three have since died of AIDS, an illness they probably contracted while on the streets.

Putting some shine into children's lives

Esme Allen, Edinburgh Evening News, 14 April 2009

[accessed 6 June 2011]

It was four years ago that the brothers were found begging on the streets of Kisumu by charity worker Jonas Okoth, then 34. Their father had been jailed for murder and their mother had remarried. Their stepfather's violent beatings made it clear they weren't wanted, so their mother choose her new husband over her boys and abandoned them, aged just three and one. They were malnourished and filthy, with scabies and infections.

Study: Glue-Sniffing Epidemic Rampant Among Kenyan Street Children

Voice of America VOA News, December 1 2008

[accessed 6 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

The Undugu Society released a study in October on glue and other substance abuse by Nairobi's street children.  The report says street children sniff glue mostly because of peer pressure, to feel good from the high, to stay warm and to ward off hunger pains.

"There are some things that you cannot do when you are sober, like eating garbage. You need to sniff glue so that you can have the courage to eat garbage and do other work in the streets," Shaban said.  Street children resort to scavenging, begging, stealing and prostitution to finance their addiction.

Ross Kemp: I have seen some shocking things ... but nothing has moved me more than this

Martin Phillips, The Sun (UK), 29 Sep 2008

[accessed 6 June 2011]

A young mother, no older than 16, sat in the dirt, wheezily breathing from a jar of glue.  Her eyes glazed over as the solvent fumes stupefied her senses.  Then she casually passed the toxic jar for her one-year-old child to sniff.  Close by, children of five and six buried their mouths and noses in similar jars, hungrily inhaling the hazardous chemicals.  These are the glue kids of Kenya, the tragic victims of a country where abject poverty is widespread — but still not the worst thing that can happen to the poorest of the poor.

TOUGH - “So, despite people’s best efforts, it’s still tough being a street kid in Kenya — and the really unlucky ones end up among the glue kids.  “Children barely old enough to walk have the little plastic bottles clamped to their lips, breathing in the fumes from the solvents to give them the hit to which they are chemically addicted.  “Walking among them was like walking into a living nightmare.  “I saw mothers giving glue bottles to their toddlers. I saw tiny children adept at placing a stick into their bottles to release more fumes.  “I saw one woman so high on solvents that she bent over and dropped the baby she was carrying on its head.  "The woman just smiled dreamily and then performed a little dance — I don’t know if she even realised what had happened.  “She then picked the toddler up and put the glue fumes to its mouth to stop it crying.  “It was a genuinely heart-breaking scene.”  Ross added: “Most of the kids had lost parents in tribal fighting that happened after the election.

Body exhumed from rape suspect's house

August 20 2008

[accessed 6 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

Shock and disbelief gripped Naivasha town residents as a body believed to be that of a victim of a serial killer and rapist was exhumed from his house.

Kisang' said the suspect was the leader of a street children gang in Naivasha town which has taken to terrorizing residents with impunity.  Naivasha MP John Mututho and his predecessor Jayne Kihara who were present during the exhumation process expressed shock at the turn of events and asked the government to take action against the street children who have become a menace to the residents.

KENYA: Numbers of street children rising in Eldoret

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Eldoret, 8 August 2008

[accessed 10 March 2015]

William, 11, sleeps in an alleyway between two shops in Eldoret town of Kenya's Rift Valley Province, in constant fear of being beaten by police and other security agents.  "The thing I fear the most is being beaten," he said. "Secondly is the fear of going without food and clothes.  "The bad thing is that we are always chased and beaten by government and municipal police," said William, who asked IRIN not to use his real name. "Also when we sleep our things can get stolen ... it's not a safe place for us."  As if on cue, a security guard from a nearby shop approached and hit him twice on the back with his wooden truncheon and kicked him. William and his friends scattered and after regrouping, laughed it off.  "I struggle to find food, but there's nothing I can do about the beatings," he said.

KENYA: HIV services are scarce on the street

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN PlusNews, Mombasa, 29 July 2008

[accessed 10 March 2015]

A HIGH-RISK LIFE - "These people have to make a living, so the girls often turn to sex work and will easily have sex without protection; they are also unprotected from sexual violence," Wairimu said. "They are especially vulnerable because many are children orphaned by HIV and have had no real family structures around them when they were growing up."  Illegal drugs were widely available on the streets, and while high on glue and other substances, young people often made unsafe sexual choices or shared needles, putting themselves at greater risk of contracting HIV.  "The majority of the street families in Mombasa and elsewhere have succumbed to HIV due to the 'don't care' lifestyle practiced on the streets," Dona said, adding that people living on the street were extremely sexually active. – sccp

10 Million Orphans

Tom Masland and Rod Nordland, Newsweek, January 17, 2000

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Even on the mean streets of Homa Bay, a fishing center of 750,000 on Lake Victoria, the children stand out: Kenya has 350,000 AIDS orphans, and 35,000 of them live here. Many of those who have not been forcibly removed to the orphanage are street children--pickpockets and beggars, prostitutes and thieves. To Hamis Otieno, 14, and his brother, Rashid Faraji, 10, the streets of Homa Bay were their last, best hope. Their father had died of AIDS in 1995; their mother turned to prostitution and abandoned them soon after. Relatives, unable to provide for the boys, cast them out. The brothers made their way by bus to Nairobi, 150 miles away, where they stole, begged and worked as drug couriers. But after a year, hungry and alone, the boys went home; hustling promised to be easier on the less competitive streets of Homa Bay.

Former street boy secures athletics contract abroad

[Last access date unavailable]

"Life in the streets of Kisumu was not easy, we were forced to go hungry and sleep in the cold. If we cooked, it was in tins, which were very unhygienic," said the boy who left the country last week.  After living on the street for one and a half years, Osir met another street boy, Aziz, who convinced him to travel to Mombasa for ‘greener’ pastures.  In 2002, the two boys hid underneath train seats and made their way to Nairobi. They waited for two days before catching another train to Mombasa.  On arrival, they established their base at Maboksini, an area well-known to harbour street families. Aziz left for Nairobi two weeks later.  "Life in Mombasa was not as tough as in Nairobi and Kisumu. Food was easily accessible," he said.

After spending some days in the streets, former mayor Taib Ali Taib visited the street families accompanied by the former Kisauni MP and then Local Government Minister, Marisa Maitha.  The visit was in 2003. The mayor announced they would be taken to the National Youth Service (NYS) to be rehabilitated and trained.  Five hundred street children were collected in Mombasa shaved, bathed and given new clothes as they waited to be taken to Nairobi for the training.  "When we arrived in Nairobi, we found some 300 more street youths whom we joined as we headed to the NYS training base at Gilgil," he said.  Osir recalls that within the first one week, more than 100 street youths escaped from the institution and ran back to the streets since they could not cope with the new life.

The Protection Project - Kenya [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - It is estimated that Kenya has 250,000 street children, including 60,000 in Nairobi.  As many as 892,000 children in Kenya have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.  These children are especially vulnerable to the false promises of traffickers.

Love’s indomitable spirit still alive and well in Kenya

Rasna Warah, 2/25/2008

[accessed 25 September 2011]

When people in Europe were giving their lovers expensive fresh-cut roses (many of which are grown in and exported from the blood-stained lakeside town of Naivasha), a group of 11-year-old street children in Nairobi decided to raise Sh50 to buy a flower for their friend Michael, who they had carried to the Nairobi Women’s and Children’s Hospital following a brutal sexual attack. Since then, they have been visiting their badly injured and traumatised fellow street child at least three times a day.

Police force may recruit former street children

Dominic Wabala, Daily Nation, 17 February 2008

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Former street children who were sent to the National Youth Service might now find their way into the police force. This follows a decision by the government to increase the number of police officers and include NYS graduates during recruitment.  Ten thousand recruits who will be inducted into both the Kenya Police and Administration Police are scheduled to be vetted and jointly trained at the National Youth Service training college in Gilgil, where a group of street children were first rehabilitated and trained in 2003.

Kenyan School for Homeless Children Hit

Katharine Houreld, Associated Press AP, Feb 4, 2008

[accessed 6 June 2011]

[accessed 6 June 2011]

The children of the Sugoi-Munsingen home were among the least lucky to begin with. They survived life on the streets, drug use and beatings before finally making it to the home that was once a safe place. Now they have nothing.

Seven-year-old Kevin Saisi and his 9-year-old brother were abandoned by their parents and ended up on the streets before being picked up by police. They landed at Sugoi-Munsingen, where they found a haven.  Kevin bears a V-shaped scar on his forehead from a beating by his uncle. The weekend attack on his school and home, he said, is "like I had another beating."  Headmaster Samuel Rutto said his school was destroyed by gangs taking advantage of the chaos, spurred on by the ethnic conflicts that are raging.

Kenyan City Is Gripped by Violence

Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times, Kisumu, January 6, 2008

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Oginga Odinga Street, the main thoroughfare in town, is a testament to rage.  Dozens of stores have been looted, torched and smashed by rioters and then picked clean by an army of glue-sniffing street children searching for whatever was left. The scorched Ukwala supermarket looks as if a bomb blew up inside it. The gates of Zamana Electronic are mangled.  People here say this is just the beginning.

Up the street, Bernard Ndede, a high school English teacher, watched street children carefully sift through inches of rubble on the floor of a charred supermarket, as if they were urban archaeologists.  He said he did not approve of the looting, but he understood the anger.  “People woke up so early that day to vote for change,” he said, referring to election day and the millions of people who voted for Mr. Odinga. “They felt robbed.”

Kenya: Street Children's Lobby Accuses Police

David Macharia, The Nation, Nairobi, 9 November 2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Police were on Thursday accused of failing to take action on those who sell glue to street children.  fficials of Ex-Street Children Community Based Organisation Joshua Lubale (chairman), Benson Juma Akumu (organising secretary) and Peter Njenga (secretary) said sniffing of glue by street children was widespread in Eldoret. The organisation was founded by former street boys in the town.  The officials said in Eldoret that it was easy to pick out the shops and individuals who sold glue to the children. Most of the children, they said, were willing to reveal their source of the substance.

Kenya: Ease Children's Suffering

Editorial, Daily Nation, Nairobi, 7 November 2007

[partially accessed 6 June 2011 - access restricted]

Many genuine individuals and organisations are doing a good job looking after orphans and other needy children.  However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of bogus groups or individuals supposedly moved by the plight of street children, but whose real motivation is to use this as a means to enrich themselves.

Kenya: Former Street Children Out to Change Life in the City Slums

Arno Kopecky, The Nation, Nairobi, 22 September 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Mr Nduati, a soft-spoken 26-year-old, left an abusive home when he was 14 and entered life in the streets. "I started hustling," he remembers; "stealing when I could, doing odd jobs for a few days at a time. I was taking drugs everyday, whatever I could lay my hands on - brown sugar, marijuana, alcohol, glue - I went crazy for years."

ARTICULATE FOUNDER - It's difficult to equate this story with the articulate founder of Emmanuel Boyz Centre standing before me now. But it is precisely his experience of life in the streets that gave Mr Nduati the drive and compassion to start up Emmanuel in 2000. The youth centre has so far taken 300 children off the streets, providing them with shelter, food and a productive environment in which to focus on self-development rather than merely surviving.

Children hooked to miraa

Lawrence Kinoti, East African Standard, Nairobi, 15 September 2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Eleven-year-old Joshua Mwithia wobbles and almost trips as he heaves under a heavy load on his back. This is his fifth trip to Mutuati shopping centre, one of the drop-off points of miraa (khat) in Meru North.  Mwathi is tired and emaciated but he has to toil on because he has a family to feed. His 14-hour daily job involves harvesting and ferrying miraa from various farms.

Omwanza says keeping children off farms and streets is difficult because of extreme poverty.  Miraa pickers are locally known as Ntungi — the uneducated.  The Government official regrets majority of the affected children are aged between 11 and 16. The ones who find the going tough, he says, eventually graduate into street children.  Maua town has about 67 street children. The officer says the figure has reduced from more than 100 in January after his department and the provincial administration re-united some of them with their parents. Others were placed in approved schools through local courts orders.  Guidance and counselling helps street children reintegrate into the society. The very vulnerable orphans, he says, are usually taken to children’s homes while others have caregivers appointed for them through the cash transfer programme.  Under the programme, caretakers or guardians are given Sh1,000 every month to provide for food, clothing, education and medical care.

Kenya: Awori Warns of Increasing Number of Street Children

James Ratemo, East African Standard, 7 September 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

The number of street children could hit 2.5 million by 2010, unless there is urgent intervention, Vice-President, Mr Moody Awori, warns.

Kenya: Former Street Boys Bail Out 'Comrades'

David Macharia, Daily Nation, Nairobi, 6 September 2007

[partially accessed 6 June 2011 - access restricted]

Mr Lubale, Mr Njenga and Mr Akumu are a product of various children's homes in Uasin Gishu but feel the homes were not doing enough to rehabilitate the children.  They accused the homes of being centres of oppression and mistreatment. They said it was their experience in the homes that they decided to form the organisation to help their comrades.

The lobbyists joined the homes with a lot of expectations - they expected their lives to change for the better after going through rough times in the street at tender age.  Today the three look back with a lot of bitterness because the homes did not mould them to be what they wished to be in life.  Instead, they were released back to the streets and found things worse than before, a fact that has made many people who passed through the homes to end up in prison, becoming criminals or prostitutes.

"There are so many children's homes in the country. Why don't we see the children trooping from streets to these homes? Instead we see children running away from the homes to go back to the streets," they said.  The three lobbyists are convinced there is something not right in the homes for them not to be attractive to street children.

Scouts Canada Helps Break Cycle of Poverty for Kids in Kenya

Camp Tamaracouta, QC, Canada Newswire CNW,  Telbec, July 31, 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

"I'm so amazed to be here in Canada," explains Peter Kariuki, a former street Scout and now a leader of an Extension Scout Troop in Nairobi. "When I was first approached by Scouters on the streets of Nairobi at the age of ten, I was living on the streets, scrounging through garbage heaps. Scouting changed my life, as it enabled me to get an education and provided me with valuable life skills. I'm now in my third year of university studying social and community development. Scouting makes such an incredible difference in so many lives where children are homeless with little hope for a future. I want to contribute to this Movement by giving back to others what Scouting has given to me."

For 2 runaway brothers, an education comes against tremendous odds

International Herald Tribune, NAIROBI, 2007-07-20

[accessed 6 June 2011]

School was the last thing on Pascal Mwanchoka's mind when he and his younger brother boarded a bus that would take them far from their mother and her alcohol-fueled rages.  Just 13 years old, Pascal figured the boys' schooldays were over for good.  "My mother wasn't feeding us, she wasn't taking us to school," said Pascal, who came here from the coastal city of Mombasa looking for work but ended up living in the gutters of Nairobi. "She was a drunk."

Less than a year later, Pascal and 10-year-old Lenjo are off the streets and back in class, attending a free program in Nairobi for children too poor even to afford a meal of maize and beans. They are among millions of children who struggle against vast obstacles for the luxury of going to school on the poorest continent in the world.

Nairobi’s Street Children: Hope for Kenya’s future generation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, NAIROBI, 23 February 2007

[accessed 10 March 2015]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

“I lost my parents three years ago and since then I have been living in the streets without shelter and assurance of having food every day. Nobody cares about me; whether I live or not,” said William Githira, 15, who lives in the streets of the Kenyan capital.   “People don’t want to look at me. I’m trash. I don’t want to live in the streets, but I have nobody. My uncle beat me hard when I lived there, and so I ran. Living in the street is the only way to survive”, he added.

Street children face endless cruelties. Their rights have been violated many times by the adults who were supposed to protect them. In many cases these children are subject to sexual exploitation in return for food or clothes. Often, police detain and beat them without reason.  “Kenya is a mess! The conditions for street children are terrible,” said Miriam Ndegwa, programme associate of Youth Alive Kenya.  Geoffrey, 23, described his experience in a police station: “I was sleeping one night in the street when the police came and took me to the police station. I did nothing wrong. In the police station I was beaten to confess a crime I did not do. [The police officer] wouldn’t stop until I agreed to what he said. He beat me everywhere with his cane.”

Human Rights Watch - Street Children

Human Rights Watch

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 June 2011]

In Bulgaria, Guatemala, India, and Kenya, Human Rights Watch has reported that police violence against street children is pervasive, and impunity is the norm. The failure of law enforcement bodies to promptly and effectively investigate and prosecute cases of abuse against street children allows the violence to continue. Establishing police accountability is further hampered by the fact that street children often have no recourse but to complain directly to police about police abuses. The threat of police reprisals against them serves as a serious deterrent to any child coming forward to testify or make a complaint against an officer.

Street children given new life

Jaclyn Cosgrove, University Wire, (Daily O'Collegian) (U-WIRE) Kenya, 04-30-2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Each day parents across the U.S. practically have to drag their children out of bed as the children beg to stay home from school.  Meanwhile, in Kenya, thousands of children wake up near trash piles, unaware of where their parents are.  No one is yelling that breakfast is ready. No one is reminding them to wash behind their ears or to brush their teeth.  In 2002, the East African Standard, a national newspaper in Kenya, reported a conservative estimate of 250,000 children living on the streets in urban areas of Kenya.  These children are often involved in theft, drug trafficking, assault, trespassing and property damage. Some face harassment, as well as physical and sexual abuse from police and within the juvenile justice system, according to the newspaper.

“When they grow up, and they are strong, and they’re not taken care of, they become not now begging but demanding, ‘Give me your vehicle keys, or I shoot you,” Kabuba says. “Before, they were begging, ‘Give me a schilling or I smear you with human waste.’”

Oftentimes street children use one hand to beg and with the other hand hold human waste and threaten to smear it on someone who won’t give them money, Kabuba says.

From the streets with hope

Lynesther Mureu, The East African Standard, Nairobi, April 4, 2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Picture this: You enter a deserted city street and, believing you are safe, you suddenly sense unwelcome company from behind. Stealthily increasing your pace, obviously terrified about prospects of being mugged, physically injured or smeared with grime, you are transfixed when another street boy appears just ahead of you. You are trapped!

Such were the scenarios that inhabitants of Nairobi were treated to, before street children were cleared from the city streets a few years back. But where did these kids go and what became of them?

Kenya and Ireland work together - Helping street kids of Nairobi

Derry Journal, 30 January 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Official estimates put the number of street children in Nairobi between 50,000-60,000.
A study done by UNESCO revealed that nearly 60% of street children in Nairobi do not attend school, while 37% of the caretakers of the children are children themselves, mostly girls.

Street kids raid poverty summit

BBC News, 24 January 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Dozens of street children have invaded a five-star hotel food tent and feasted on meals meant for sale at the World Social Forum in Kenya's capital.  The hungry urchins were joined by other participants who complained that the food was too expensive at the annual anti-capitalist get together.

Committee on Rights of Child examines report of Kenya

Press Release, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 16 January 2007

[accessed 6 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

PRESENTATION OF REPORT - One of the greatest challenges Kenya faced was the increasing number of children living and working in the streets, Mr. Awori observed. The Government had started an initiative in 2003 to rehabilitate street children under which 6,000 former street children had been rehabilitated and enrolled in different primary schools countrywide and 800 children had acquired vocational skills in various national youth service units countrywide.

Street Children, A Waiting Disaster

Richard Oundo, The New Times, Kigali, January 8, 2007

[accessed 18 January 2017]

When a section of a population fails to achieve or acquire what it needs, it finds a way of manifesting the problem. In a city like Nairobi, it is paying for letting loose the street children. They have now grown into street adults hardened by the conditions they went through. They steal and rob with impunity. The police and country are grappling with the problem to date. A pedestrian’s security on any Kenyan street is not guaranteed.

African trio takes World Bank to task

Agence France-Presse AFP, NAIROBI, Oct 30, 2006

[accessed 6 June 2011]

For Kangethe, the program has been "a life changing experience" after spending seven years on the streets of Dagoretti, a sprawling slum 10km west of downtown Nairobi that is home to an estimated 240,000 people.

"I used to eat from trash cans, beg for money and steal food," said Kangethe of his life on the street after he left home because of the routine beatings he suffered at the hands of his alcoholic father.  "I slept in the cold, covered only with a gunny sack," he said. "I was addicted to sniffing glue and marijuana but now I know how to shoot film, write scripts, interview people and edit video."  "I have hope for my future," he added.

Spearheading Africa’s green revolution

Harold Ayodo, The East African Standard, October 1, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 June 2011]

She also visited homesteads that were deserted because children had taken to the streets of Kisumu after their parents succumbed to Aids related complications.

At the end of her visit she decided to do something about the situation. "I resolved to teach orphans and widows how to farm so that they could be able to feed themselves and stay in the homesteads," she says.

She rented a quarter-acre-piece of land at the Maseno Farmers Training Centre in Kisumu and bred broilers, cows and goats. She also made peanut butter, kept bees and planted vegetables. "I started from scratch. I had no money but I resolved to help the widows and orphans to use the available resource — land," she says.

Dreams of Kisumu

Cherie Catron, Worldpress, September 20, 2006

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Unfortunately, not all the children of Manyatta can attend the school; many peer over the barbed wire fences surrounding the school, listening in and watching the school children playfully learning. According to UNICEF, Kisumu now offers free public education for primary school children, yet we encountered large numbers of children on the other side of the school fence. It appears that their education is still not entirely free: they must buy uniforms and other school supplies. Some children we met claimed they were forced to leave their schools when they could not afford their fees. And according to UNICEF, orphaned children are likely to drop out of school for a myriad of factors. One common reason is that nearly an entire generation of their families, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles has been wiped out by HIV and AIDS, leaving no one to take care of them or to provide them with guidance and supervision. Others leave school to nurse sick relatives or to work to support their siblings.

Former street boy wins international award

[Last access date unavailable]

Nduati is now appealing to parents to readmit reformed street children into their homes. He also wants teachers to accommodate, instead of mocking the children when they seek readmission.

PARENTS RELUCTANT TO READMIT REFORMED CHILDREN - He told The Standard that while some parents were reluctant to readmit the reformed children, some teachers also mocked them, sending them back into the streets.  “Street people are normal and need understanding, love, patience and care or they run back to the streets,” he said.

Kivuli Center

Koinonia Community

[accessed 6 June 2011]

BACKGROUND - One major issue of concern to the Koinonia Community has always been the increasing number of children living in the streets of the African cities. It is estimated that in 1975, there were some 115 children in the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. It is now estimated that there are over 60,000 children on the city's streets.  Koinonia initiated a small street children program in 1992. A football team comprising children living in the streets and other children from Riruta area was formed. Alongside the sporting activity, hot meals, medical care, school placement and temporary shelter were provided to the children.  This led to the idea and the subsequent realization of Kivuli Center

Children's home petitions government

[access information unavailable]

Shangilia Mtoto wa Africa destitute children’s home wants the government to support the children through formal education on their onward match to rewarding future careers. The chidren's home is situated in the heart of the sprawling dusty Kangemi slums, 12 kilo metres from the city centre on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. The home is currently caring for 230 former street children.

Kenyan officials seek ideas for helping orphans

Matt Kane, Special to the Telegram & Gazette, August 2, 2006

[accessed 6 June 2011]

When describing Kibera, a section of Nairobi, Mr. Boisvert said one should picture 850,000 people living in New York City’s Central Park with no sewers, no trash collection, and no running water and with children rearing children.  “So that’s a slum where a lot of kids live,” Ms. Githaiga added.

From street boys to men

The East African Standard, Nairobi, 30 July 2006

[partially accessed 6 June 2011 - access restricted]

Plans were mooted to set up rehabilitation centers for thousands of street children, a project that however appears to have lost momentum as the years roll by.

In Nairobi, several centres were set up at the time to serve as temporary holding grounds for the street families, in Pumwani, Kariakor, Kayole, Shauri Moyo, Kibera and Bahati. Currently, only two of these centres are operational.

Occupants of the closed centres have since gone back to the streets. Those who opted to stay, have gone on to complete various courses in hairdressing, tailoring, mechanics and catering.

Trip to Kenya reveals truth, changes life

Sarah Rutherford, 2005

[accessed 6 June 2011]

According to, there are approximately 2,000 street children in Eldoret. George works with a roster of 58. We sat in his office as he explained the work he does.  Just as we were leaving, George ran into two mothers who were there seeking his help.  One mother was looking for her son, who was reluctant to go home because he enjoys life on the street.

Child Trafficking in the U.K.

Ambrose Musiyiwa (amusiyiwa), OhmyNews, 2006-07-25


[accessed 23 April 2012]

She was a teenage orphan living on the streets of Nairobi when a man approached her and promised her work in the United Kingdom. He told her she would be working as a house girl.

True to his word, her "savior" brought her into the U.K. -- but instead of placing her with a family the man took her to a brothel, where she was systematically raped, beaten, and forced to work as a prostitute.

Three months later, when the 16-year-old Kenyan girl became pregnant, she was forced to continue sleeping with a succession of men until she was almost due to give birth. The heavily pregnant teenager was then removed from the brothel, driven out of the town where she had been held, and dumped many miles away on the streets of Sheffield.

Four months working in Nairobi

Austin Lynch, Fermanagh Herald, Jul 20, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 June 2011]

"The street kids attending this project were mainly boys around the ages of 11 to 18 years who had spent anything from 4 - 6 years or more sleeping rough on the streets."

Working with the others on the project, she quickly appreciated that many of the boys still slept rough and, so she was able to establish three rooms in the slum which now act as a night shelter. "Having this shelter can keep some of the boys away from other street groups and possibly away from the curse of glue sniffing, which is prevalent in such areas", she explained.

Sex workers pose major threat to students

Mwangi Muiruri, July 10, 2006

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Further, a local social hall that is being used by the Nairobi City Council to rehabilitate street children was identified as another major threat to the schooling children. Wangare said: “These are no street children. They are teenagers and adults whose experiences in the fast lane of life have hardened them. To them, sex, drugs and money are issues they hold dear. To the unexposed children within this area, they represent a kind of gangsterism life that is exciting and adventurous. We demand that such rehabilitation centres be established far from family units.”

New approach to helping Kenya's street children

Chris Tomlinson, CYC-Net, 2 May 2006

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Sniffing glue and smoking marijuana are often the only comforts street children know. On the poorest continent in the world, the children are the poorest of the poor, depending on begging, theft and prostitution to survive.

Street children describe a life of almost constant violence and fear. Stronger children regularly beat the others, police raid their hideouts and sexual abuse is rampant, the children say.

What became of street families rehab project?

Paul Orenge , Kenya Times Newspaper, May 23, 2006

[accessed 18 January 2017]

Perhaps most troubling is that barely into its fourth year, the families we had been made to believe were to be cleared from the streets have since made a comeback.

Plight of streetchildren important issue in Africa

Britanny Morehouse, The Observer Vol XXXIV No. 120, April 10, 2001

[accessed 6 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

Streetchildren are a problem that differs according to gender. Whereas boys might find themselves in a position of begging or working as parking boys for survival, girls in the same predicament engage in survival prostitution. Girls are therefore harassed by the police in more frightening ways than boys.

Sadly enough, it is the harrassment and negative adult reactions, not their hunger, that troubles streetchildren the most. Isolation and distrust cause them the greatest pain. Once, while I was in Kenya, a police officer stopped a streetboy who was walking with me and helping me carry boxes. He immediately assumed the boy was about to steal from me and chased him while swinging a baton. He forbid the boy to go near any white lady, threatening him with arrest, even after I protested and defended him. The kids invariably are accused of lying.

US woman 'raped' street boys

Agence France-Presse AFP, Nairobi, 2006-01-31

[accessed 6 June 2011]

A Kenyan court charged an American woman on Tuesday with sexually assaulting several street boys at a Nairobi shelter where she was doing volunteer rehabilitation work.

Nairobi is teeming with tens of thousands of scruffy, glue-sniffing street children and a 2003 government plan to place them in proper housing and offer them vocational training has floundered due to a lack of funds and enforcement.

The AIDS/Orphan Situation in Kenya

Twana Twitu (Our Children)

[accessed 9 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

CHILD PROSTITUTION (A.K.A. "SURVIVAL SEX") - It has been found that even guardians and others initially willing to help, find themselves unable to cope with the additional responsibility of supporting extra children. As a result, guardians are increasingly either sending these children out to the streets with instructions to return home with money or expelling them from their homes. So, what happens to a child with nowhere to go? What is the quickest way for a teenager to make money? For females, prostitution is usually the easiest option.

STREET LIFE - As others have said, the AIDS pandemic is devastating Kenya and her children are paying a terrible price. By now, who hasn’t heard about Nairobi’s street children?! They are the “Chokora” or “scavengers”. Attributable to the fact that many AIDS orphans are out of school, without property and hungry, the phenomenon of AIDS orphans exploding the streets is becoming yet another epidemic the Kenyan government has had to face. While many issues are a factor in this problem, it is undeniable that HIV/AIDS is pushing children into the street and putting them in the path of many dangers including the risk of HIV contraction and transmission. The children forage the city's garbage dumps for food and withstand traumatizing abuse from the police and public alike. Many, simply to escape their pain, engage in sniffing glue or other hallucinogenic solvents, which impair judgment and yet again, make them more vulnerable. Based on extensive interviews with service providers in Kenya, for the most part, “an unprotected girl living on the streets will sooner of later end up working as a prostitute.”

JUVENILE INJUSTICE: Police Abuse And Detention Of Street Children In Kenya

Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project, June 1997 -- ISBN 1-56432-214-9  Library of Congress 97-77536

Click [here] to access the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 25 September 2011]

Street children in Kenya face innumerable hardships and danger in their daily lives. In addition to the hazards of living on the street, these children face harassment and abuse from the police and within the juvenile justice system for no reason other than the fact that they are street children. Living outside the protection of responsible adults, street children are easy and silent targets for abuse by police and society at large. On the streets, they are subject to frequent beatings by police as well as monetary extortion and sexual abuse. They are subject to frequent arrest simply because they are homeless.

SOS Children: Street Children in Kenya

SOS Children’s Villages

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Some are sent out by their impoverished parents to work or to beg. Others have lost their families through war or illness, and some have simply been abandoned because they have become too much of a burden. These street children scrabble to maintain the most basic form of existence. They polish shoes, wash windscreens, pick pockets and beg. Most of them take drugs when they can, are malnourished and are sick.

Sexual Abuse Part of Life for Kenya's Street Children

Gary Strieker, Cable News Network CNN, Nairobi, August 28, 1996

[accessed 6 June 2011]

Sexual exploitation is a fact of life for them.  They can't avoid sexual abuse because when they sleep, wherever they sleep, it's on the streets.  For girls on the streets, as young as six or seven years, sexual abuse usually starts in gangs.  When they are new on the streets, they are raped in order to be accepted as a member of the street gang,

KENYA: Soccer Tournament Highlights Plight of Street Children

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN PlusNews

[accessed 10 March 2015]

Hundreds of Kenyan slum and street children on Thursday thronged the National Stadium in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to take part in the finals of a month-long soccer tournament, as part of a concerted initiative launched this year to combat drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, among these high-risk youth.

NGOs Concerned at "Society Failing Street Children"

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN News

[accessed 10 March 2015]

Although the Kenyan parliament last year passed a new law to protect children from neglect and abuse, a combination of economic and social factors is forcing more and more children to continue pouring into the streets throughout the country, according to local nongovernmental organizations

Temperament Characteristics of Street and Non-Street Children in Eldoret, Kenya

David O Ayuku, Marten W Devries, HNK Arap Mengech & Charles D Kaplan -- African Health Sciences 2004 April; 4(1): 24–30

[accessed 7 June 2011]

Objective: To examine the interaction of temperament and environment and how these impact on the psychological function of street children and non-street children in Eldoret Kenya.  

Conclusion: These results support earlier research on street children. Counter to public opinion and hostility, the children are resilient, adaptable and flexible in the face of adversity and remaining well adjusted as individuals.

Health Problems of Street Children in Eldoret, Kenya

Ayaya SO & Esamai FO -- East Afr Med J. 2001 Dec;78(12):624-9

 [accessed 7 June 2011]

Street children have a high incidence of childhood diseases.  Factors determining occurrence of disease among street children are as in normal children.  Respiratory and skin diseases were the leading causes of morbidity.  Drug abuse was rampant among the street children

The Street Child Phenomenon

Njia Panda Ya Tumaini (crossroads of hope)

[accessed 7 June 2011]

Kitale has a particularly large population of street children with estimates of between 200 and over 500 children on the streets at any one time. Estimates vary depending on how one defines a street child

Give me 5 shillings

Expanding Oportunities, Menengai West, Kenya

[accessed 7 June 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

The ragged dirty boy held out his hand. My heart tried to ignore him. But there he was standing in front of me. I shake my head and move on, a bundle of mixed emotions.  I didn't have any change but that wasn't the real reason. We were told not to give them money. They would only go buy glue to sniff.

Nairobi's Street Children

Aylward Shorter, The Tablet, 9 January 1999, Page 44

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 7 June 2011]

Their rights as children are systematically denied, breaking down every single clause of the United National 1990 Convention on Children’s Rights. Their health, protection and development, even their very survival, are in jeopardy.

Nairobi's Street Children

Kirsten Hund, student in international relations at the University of Groningen (Netherlands), doing research for the Royal Netherlands Embassy about the position in children of Kenya

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 7 June 2011]

Some are just sent away to earn some money to feed the family. Others might be thrown out, or driven by simple hunger. Very painful is that a lot of them drop out of school because their parents can't, or won't pay their school fees, books or uniforms, which often form a great burden for a poor family. Some of them, especially girls, are hired out by their parents as household servants. Children who are being abused or neglected run away from home. Parents disappear or die, by AIDS or another disease, and if there are no other relatives there's not much of a choice left for many children. A growing amount of them are being raised on the streets; born from parents that live on the streets themselves. One could think of many other factors that push a child onto the streets.

SSIP - Solution for Street Children in Nairobi, Kenya

H2G2, Feb 6, 2002

[accessed 7 June 2011]

PROBLEM - NAIROBI'S STREET CHILDREN - The children whose parents can't afford to send them to school are left alone in the slums during the day. Beset by hunger and boredom, they will often find their way into the city centre. Here, they find other children like themselves, already living on the streets.  Many of these street children remain separated from their families, who might have no idea where they have gone.  They find places to sleep in the city, and their day-to-day existence consists of begging for a few Shillings to buy some bread.

KENYA: Focus on new legislation and hopes for child welfare

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN

[accessed 10 March 2015]

Despite the new law, designed to enhance child welfare and protect young people from neglect and abuse, a combination of economic and social factors is forcing more and more children to continue pouring into the streets throughout the country, according to some indigenous NGOs.

"Though we cry of a poor economy, lack of resources and illiteracy as some of the hindrances that prevent us from taking care of the so-called street children, we feel that those are just excuses being used not to help them," John Gathungu, head of the Victory Free Area Self-Help Group, an NGO based in Nakuru, in Rift Valley Province, told IRIN on Wednesday.

Official figures suggest the presence of between 150,000 and 200,000 street children in Kenya, of whom 60,000 are in the capital, Nairobi, alone. However, according to the Nairobi-based African Network for the Protection and Prevention against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN), up to 3.5 million Kenyan children of school-going age are out of school, and a "good number" of those are on the streets.

"The children will pour into the streets as long as they don't have a place to sleep and someone to cook their food. The slums are also where most of the abuse and rape of children take place," said the organisation's Phillista Onyango.

Street Children of Kericho

Expanding Oportunities, Menengai West, Kenya

[accessed 7 June 2011]

Some of these children are as young as four years of age. The reasons these children turn to the streets are many, but the most common one is the poverty their families' face. Most often, hunger is the closest friend of a street child. Unfortunately, many of them turn to sniffing glue from glue sticks.

Who are the Street Children?

Kivuli (Shelter) - The House of Street Children

[accessed 7 June 2011]

They are children who cannot rely on their families to provide them what's necessary to live and grow up peacefully. Even though few of them still maintain some kind of bond with their parents, particularly with their mothers, street children live by their wits in the back streets of huge cities, begging, collecting garbage to be recycled, committing thefts or prostituting themselves.

In order to relieve the pangs of hunger, they often sniff glue, a cheap drug thus particularly harmful, which in the long term causes permanent damage to the brain and to the respiratory system. According to the last evaluations, 30.000 street children live in Nairobi today.

Ragazzi di strada (Street Children), Meru

Giulio Napolitano, Graffiti Press, 2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 7 June 2011]

In Meru Town, situated at about 250 kilometers from Nairobi, the most remarkable phenomenon denoting the increased social break-up in Kenya is represented by the presence of an impressive number of street children. They wander aimlessly, in the indifference of local authorities and private citizens, organized into gangs searching for something to eat and for money to buy glue they use a drug. Their ages range between six and eighteen years old and they are homeless.

A World of Violence - The Daily Battles of Nairobi's Street Children

Ula Löw,  EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network

[accessed 7 June 2011]

THE MANY FACETS OF VIOLENCE ON THE STREETS - The increasing violence towards street children has only recently been documented. Although there are now more statistics and reports on the issue, the extent of the problem can never be under-estimated. Sleeping on the pavement unprotected and forced to beg or steal for survival, street children are constantly exposed to the risk of violence and exploitation.

Report on the mission of the Special Rapporteur on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children to Kenya (25 August to 1 September 1997

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-fourth session, 28 January 1998

[accessed 7 June 2011]

3. At the same time, specialists working with children in the streets were of the opinion that poverty per se is not the only cause, although it certainly aggravates matters, but that abuse or rejection within families is the primary reason for the increase in street children and the consequent vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation. The breakdown of traditional family values and the culture of African extended family were frequently cited as most compelling causes leading to a moral disintegration of society, again making children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Children escape physical and sexual abuse from home and from dysfunctional families affected by unemployment, substance abuse and criminality, and end up in the streets. Cultural practices in some communities (such as Nanyuki/Mt. Kenya) where families send children out to earn money through prostitution are also compounding the problem of sexual exploitation of children, but poverty is once again the underlying factor.

4. In addition, the increasing number of single parent families, and in particular female-headed households, results in children having to supplement the family income or being left to their own devices. In view of the scarcity of employment opportunities, girl children might often be pushed to engage in commercial sex, with or without the knowledge of their parents or family. – sccp

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