NAIROBI Kenya, Aug 28 – A new report by CRADLE, a children’s rights advocacy group indicates that children between the ages of 10 and 15 years are more prone to child trafficking owing to the number of cases reported so far at 41.3 percent in Kenya.,
The risk of children aged between zero and six years stands at 26 percent.
The organisation’s legal officer Prudence Mutiso says Nairobi, Kericho and Malindi are top on the list of transit and destination areas for child trafficking in Kenya.
These cases are mostly present, according to the report, through child sex tourism, child labour in agricultural regions, domestic labour, fishing, cattle herding, street vending and begging.
Mutiso said internal trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation involves bringing children from impoverished rural areas to urban areas.
“Most commonly, girls are trafficked to the cities from the northern part of Kenya for the purposes of prostitution and from Western Kenya for the purposes of domestic work, because girls from the region are considered to be skilled in cooking and housekeeping,” reads the report.
“Young Kenyan women and children are commonly lured with false promises of employment abroad, regrettably ending up in the sex industry instead.”
The main challenge in prosecuting those involved, she says include, “securing evidence from the victims and corroborating and many circumstances that present trafficking cases are misclassified.”
She says over 200 cases reported only “43 child trafficking case files were opened and even fewer have been successful through criminal justice process.”
The reports released on Thursday states that most children trafficked out of the country are taken to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Europe. The organisation has attributed high poverty rates and lack of knowledge as the cause more so in agricultural and coastal areas.
Others include loop holes at border points and lack of reporting of trafficking cases due to the effects it causes on the victims, such as low self esteem, fear and stigma.
“Traffickers are masters of manipulation and exploiting vulnerabilities. They usually present a facade of economic success and independence,” Mutiso pointed out.
“Other than confusing and sweet talking their victims into submission, they ensure retention of their victims by; threats, physical harm, emotional manipulation and brainwashing.”
The organisation however pointed that the trend may change if President Uhuru Kenyatta assents to Victim Protection Bill which was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday.