NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Kenya is a source, transit and destination point for human trafficking according to new research carried out by the Ministry of Labour and the International Organisation for Migration.,
Labour Minister John Munyes said on Thursday that women and children in their thousands were the main victims of this vice.
He said the Ministry was planning to present a draft Bill on human labour and trafficking before the Cabinet next month for consideration.
“The legislation is still at the consultative stage. Parliament will contribute and amend it so as to curb it (human trafficking). It will give penalties for those engaging in human trafficking for instance,” Mr Munyes said.
He was speaking during the launch of a website to counter human trafficking in Kenya, where he explained some of its unique features such as counter trafficking information, data on labour based migration, a jobs databank and accredited employment agencies.
“The establishment of this website will reduce suffering and exploitation of Kenyans who have been out there looking for jobs,” Mr Munyes assured.
“It will help us in getting a framework of what we have seen today and we will have the information at our fingertips,” he further explained.
The Minister said that the contents of the web site would be reviewed on a regular basis for purposes of updating and uploading information.
As a way of protecting potential migrants, a list of government accredited private employment agencies will also be posted, he said.
The International Labour Organization estimates that over 12 million people worldwide are engaged in various forms of human trafficking that include among others forced labour, bonded labour, forced child labour as well as sexual service trade.
The Labour Minister said that the alarming statistics underline the urgency of fighting trafficking.
He urged all stakeholders to forge a united front and use all means at their disposal to ensure the elimination of all forms of human trafficking.
With a population of about 30 million people and the unemployment rate standing at over 10 percent in Kenya, there is vulnerability to both domestic and international trafficking.
At the domestic level, smuggled children have been engaged in domestic service trade, street vending and agricultural labour.
On the international level, Kenyan men, women, and girls have been smuggled to the Middle East, Europe, America as well as other African countries.
Mr Munyes also stated that the government had drafted a bill on trafficking in persons, which is awaiting presentation to the Cabinet.
He stressed that the fight against human trafficking was not only urgent, but needed a multi-pronged approach.