Police in Kenya are identifying more and more victims of trafficking who urgently need to be provided with support. They are seeing shocking cases of victims trafficked for sex from Nepal, Pakistan and India and forced labor trafficking victims from Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. Due to lack of adequate government support, these victims are being referred to our partner, HAART Kenya, who is running out of resources to give victims the support they desperately need.
HAART set up a temporary safe house for adult victims of trafficking two months ago, but they can no longer provide services and are now being forced to turn victims away. They also operate a shelter but with the additional caseload, providing the support required is becoming increasingly difficult as they also care for children with special needs who have been trafficked for the purpose of begging.
Sophie Otiende, Programme Consultant at HAART and survivor, said “Today, we had to say no to the police and that means these victims will have to be taken to prison because there is no other place to house them.”
Freedom United launched a campaign in 2015 1 that succeeded in promoting collaboration between Kenya’s police force and the UK’s National Crime Agency which led to the launch of Kenya’s Child Protection Unit, the first unit dedicated to fighting child sexual exploitation and abuse. We are pleased our campaign has led to better awareness and specialised response to trafficking by Kenya’s police force but now we need to ensure victims of trafficking are supported on their road to recovery.
Prison is no place for a victim of trafficking. Donate today to keep victims in safe shelters and ensure their access to the recovery and healing they deserve.