IOM in collaboration with the Government of Kenya held a two day training workshop in Busia, Western Kenya, which brought together various Government officials to enhance their capacity in combating cases of human trafficking.
The training held from 20-21 September, saw 14 Government officials trained on how to identify victims of human trafficking, prosecution of the perpetrators of human trafficking, victim protection among other topical issues.
The frontline officials were drawn from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government; Department of Immigration, National Police Services and Criminal Investigations Department and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Busia town is a transit place for many migrants crossing into Kenya from neighbouring, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Due to its locality, the town makes it a transit point and hub for victims of human trafficking due to the increased economic activities in the town which also acts as a stopover point for long distance drivers. Hence, the need for a capacity building training for Government officials from the various law enforcement agencies working at the border point.
Speaking while opening the workshop, the Deputy Head of Immigration in Busia, Mr. Samuel Mac Otiende encouraged the participants to be the agents of change and cascade lessons learnt to their colleagues in the various departments. He pointed out that trafficking in persons is a rapidly expanding global phenomenon and a lucrative business that negatively impacts on countries and communities throughout the world.
“Last year alone, human traffickers are reportedly to have profited to a tune of 1.26 billion Kenya shillings ($10 million). Frontline Government officials working along the borders should be careful not to be enticed to partake in the proceeds of the vice,” he added.
The participants were also taken through various topics which included trafficking legislation, interviewing and debriefing victims of trafficking, indicators of trafficking, protection, referral and assistance to victims of trafficking. The training also included a session on lessons learnt and best practices by the Government officials.
Speaking during the closing session, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Busia, Mr. Victor Owiti, lauded IOM for its continued engagement with the Government on improving the capacity of its officials when discharging their duties. He stated that the training offered a platform for officials to share their experience and learn from each other on best practices as well networking.
The training is part of a project IOM Kenya is implementing funded by the British High Commission dubbed “Improving the Capacity of the Government of Kenya (GoK) in Counter Human Trafficking”.