Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital News
A new study places Kenya at the centre of human trafficking routes in the region.


Kenya among list of human trafficking hot spots in the world

The increase in human trafficking is attributed to the vulnerability of victims reeling in the economic meltdown caused by COVID-19.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Kenya is among the 148 countries where more people are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The increase in human trafficking is attributed to the vulnerability of victims reeling in the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world almost to a halt since last year.

The UNODC Global report on trafficking in persons released on February 7, notes that 50,000 people were trafficked to different destinations between 2017 and 2018 with projections of an upsurge of victims made vulnerable due to massive job losses, increasing levels of poverty and the harsh economy necessitated by the pandemic.

“The sharp increase in unemployment rates brought about by the COVID-19
pandemic is likely to increase trafficking in persons, particularly from countries experiencing the fastest and most persistent drops in employment. Job seekers from these countries are likely to be more willing to take high risks in the hope of improving their opportunities,” the report states.

Though, the increase doesn’t show if it is an increase in human trafficking or due to increased detection and reporting of trafficking, the number of perpetrators charged for such offences considerably shot up.

According to the report, trafficking syndicates vary from organized groups to individual criminals with the later taking a lead based on the number of suspects charged for human trafficking which shows that 142 and 148 people were arrested for trafficking in 2017 and 2018 respectively.  Out of the 142 suspects, 68 were convicted in 2017 and 61 in 2018.

Majority of those convicted for human trafficking were Ethiopians who had trafficked 227 victims followed by Nepalese taking responsibility for 21 victims, Libyans (13), Indians (9) and then South Sudan (7).

Majority of victims of trafficking found in Kenya were Ethiopians which is also a destination country for victims from Uganda. The report further found that Kenyans are trafficked to the Maldives.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Saudi Arabia as a destination country has majority of victims from Yemen and high numbers from Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia with an indication that victims from East Africa form 41% of victims trafficked to the Middle East for forced labour and sexual exploitation.

In the report, UNODC cites increased vulnerability among children in low-income countries with estimates that they account for almost half (46%) of the victims of human trafficking.  According to the report children are ‘trafficked mainly for sexual exploitation, forced criminality or begging’.

Majority of the victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation (50%), while those trafficked for forced labour follow closely at 38% and others for criminal activity, begging, forced marriages and organ removal.

Women constitute the highest number of victims trafficked for labor exploitation and are exposed to ‘multiple forms of exploitation and violence including sexual, physical, and psychological abuse.’

Last year, Kenyan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) raised a red flag over new tactics employed by traffickers to lure victims during the coronavirus pandemic. Trace Kenya Executive Officer, Paul Adhoch, expressed concerns that the unfolding global economic recession that came with the pandemic would see an increase in the number of victims yearning for an escape from joblessness.

Judie Kaberia is a fellow of the Resilience Fund of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More on Capital News


KAMPALA, Uganda Apr 11 – Tanzanian President Samia Hassan Suluhu on Sunday arrived here to witness the signing of a tripartite deal that will...


NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 11 – Kenya’s elephant population has gradually increased at an annual rate of approximately 2.8 percent over the last three decades...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11- International players among them the African and European Union have called for an urgent solution to the current political stalemate...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11- The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has asked Kenyans and entities yet to file their tax returns to do so using...

Corona Virus

NEW DELHI, April 11 (Xinhua) — Chief Minister of the northern Indian state of Punjab Amarinder Singh Saturday said they have only five days...

Focus on China

BEIJING, Apr 11 – Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for acting on the people-centered philosophy and fully implementing crackdown, prevention, regulation and control...

Fifth Estate

In the course of the day-to-day tax administration process, tax disputes are inevitable. Tax disputes arise especially where a taxpayer disagrees with a decision...


YAGON, Myanmar Apr 11 – A security guard was wounded in a bomb blast outside a military-owned bank in Myanmar’s second-biggest city Sunday morning,...