We are in the initial stages of expanding our anti-trafficking work into Kenya. Recently, part of our leadership team traveled there to help oversee staff training and to evaluate the results of our preliminary efforts there.
The team began their travels in Mombasa, which is on the coast of Kenya. The town is known for being a popular tourist destination with its exquisite white sands and turquoise blue seas. However, human trafficking in the forms of forced labor and prostitution is a prevalent problem amidst the backdrop of this picturesque town and the country as a whole.
A large majority of trafficking is routed from both the north and the south of Kenya. To the north of Mombasa lies Ethiopia and Somalia, which are both known for trafficking of persons in and out of the respective countries. To the south lies Tanzania. Many children struggling in poverty in these countries are lured to Kenya with false offers of education or jobs—only to be trafficked and sold into slavery.
Within Kenya, the U.S. Department of State reports that children are often subjected to forced labor in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending, and begging. Also, girls and boys are exploited for commercial sex and sex tourism throughout Kenya, and it is not uncommon for their exploitation to be facilitated by family members. Some other forms of exploitation include the following:
- Children are exploited in sex trafficking by truck drivers along major highways, by fishermen on Lake Victoria, and by people working in khat (a mild narcotic) cultivation areas and near gold mines in western Kenya.
- Kenyans are often recruited by illegal employment agencies offering false job opportunities; they end up being exploited in domestic servitude, massage parlors and brothels, or forced manual labor.
- Kenyan women are often lured by Ugandan and Nigerian traffickers and forced into prostitution in Thailand, while Kenyan men and boys are lured to Somalia to join criminal and terrorist networks, sometimes with fraudulent promises of lucrative employment elsewhere.
This is just a brief example of some of the different forms of trafficking occurring and the significant exploitation of innocent lives that is happening on a daily basis within the country.
Although this is a dark and heavy topic, there is hope for these beautiful lives at risk of being sold into modern-day slavery. You. Our expanding work is only possible because of our faithful donors, just like you. Take a moment to watch this brief video as one of our border guards, Somoe, shares her story:
Through the support of our donors, we are able to intercept innocent lives BEFORE they are exploited and abused. You can be a part of this vital work to bring hope and freedom to those in danger of being trafficked. You can make a difference—one life at a time.