Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women and children subjected to human trafficking for a variety of purposes, including forced labour and sexual exploitation.
Within the country, children are subjected to forced labour through various forms such as domestic service, agriculture, fishing, herding of cattle, street vending and begging. Girls and boys are also exploited through prostitution.
IOM, with funding from the ‘Better Migration Management’(BMM) programme held a series of consultative workshops with various stakeholders in three counties in the coastal region to assess the impact of human trafficking. The Kenyan coast has been identified as being a notorious flash point for traffickers.
The workshops brought together officials from among the Country Governments, civil society, IOM and other concerned stakeholders of Mombasa (8-9 November), and Kwale and Kilifi (13-14 November).
Speaking while opening a workshop in Mombasa, IOM Kenya Migration Programme Manager, Ms. Etsuko Teranishi-Inoue called for a multi-stakeholder approach to combat human trafficking in the coast region.
‘One of the ways to effectively counter human trafficking is by reducing the levels of vulnerability amongst the communities and improving awareness of community members on human trafficking and promoting safe migration’, she added.
A representative from the Mombasa County Commissioner’s office, Mr. Rashid Were, said that human trafficking is increasingly becoming a challenge along the coastal region, especially in Mombasa due to its geographical location.
He added that ‘initiatives that bring together relevant stakeholders are a step in the right direction, as they help stakeholders get acquainted of who is doing what and where. ,This is important when referring victims of trafficking for assistance’, a sentiment echoed by other stakeholders during county level stakeholder consultations.
During the workshops, stakeholders noted it was important to identify and highlight emerging trends and patterns and provide deeper insight on effective strategies to prevent human trafficking.
The ”BMM Project” is a regional, multi partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
IOM is one of the main implementing partners alongside UNODC, Expertise France, Italian Department of Public Security, CIVIPOL and the British Council. Apart from Kenya, BMM also covers Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and in close coordination with the EU Delegation South Sudan.