By Pauliina Sillfors
Kenya is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficked persons. Trafficking in Kenya occurs in different forms such as child labour, domestic labour, street begging, child sexual exploitation, prostitution, child sex tourism and servitude among others. Kenya’s National Plan of Action (NPA) for Combating Human Trafficking 2013-2017 has been constructed by the Counter Trafficking in Persons Advisory Committee. The Act’s intention is to implement Kenya’s obligation under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime particularly in its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. The purpose of the Action Plan is to promote cooperation between different stakeholders and lay the groundwork for closer cooperation with other countries in the region and beyond. The National Plan of Action includes the 3 Ps approach, which means prevention, protection and prosecution. These paradigms serve as the fundamental frameworks used by Governments around the world to combat human trafficking.
Prevention is a key component of the global movement to monitor and combat human trafficking. The Strategic Priorities for prevention are:
- Capacity Building by building the capacity of criminal justice practitioners.
- Raising public awareness by conducting public information campaigns on human trafficking targeting a wide range of groups and by evaluating the effectiveness of the campaigns.
- Reducing fraudulent employment opportunities by monitoring and assessing employment agencies, and their processes and practices to detect misconduct or potential gaps that could be used by traffickers.
Victims’ protection include the “3Rs”- Rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration. The Strategic Priorities for protection are 1) Direct Assistance by developing, printing and disseminating national guidelines for identification of victims, conducting a national mapping exercise identifying all existing support services available to trafficked persons, mobilizing resources for safe homes where persons trafficked can be housed, separated by gender and age, developing, printing and disseminating the National Referral Mechanism and the Guidelines on counter trafficking in persons, referring victims to individualized services, facilitating reintegration and repatriation of victims and by setting up the National Assistance Trust Fund and Board of Trustees for victims of trafficking. 2) Capacity Building for Service Providers by carrying out training needs assessments for stakeholders and duty bearers, training service providers on combating human trafficking and deploying experts in vulnerable areas or hotspots to identify possible victims and perpetrators of trafficking.
Prosecution is an indispensable element for Governments to fight trafficking. The Strategic Priorities are 1) Legislative Framework including development of regulations to operationalize the Counter Trafficking in persons Act, 2010 and lobbying for their adoption and amendment of counter trafficking in persons Act, 2010. 2) Operationalization of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act by building the capacity of prosecutors and judicial officers to operationalize the Counter Trafficking in Persons legislation. 3) Data base on Case law and research by developing and compiling a human trafficking case law on rulings and judgements on issues related to trafficking in persons.
There are also some issues that cut across the 3 Ps. The Strategic Priorities for the cross cutting thematic areas are 1) Data and Research by facilitating availability of data to meet reporting obligations and case management, collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to have indicators of trafficking included in household surveys and conducting primary and secondary research on trafficking in persons in Kenya. 2) Collection of Data by Protective and Victim Service Providers by developing a standardised system for collecting data of potential victims and perpetrators of trafficking and facilitating collection, storage and sharing of data. 3) International Cooperation implemented by facilitation of the development of international cooperation mechanisms including joint legal assistance and investigation and developing reciprocal arrangements to enhance international cooperation mechanisms on counter trafficking. 4) Operationalization of the Advisory Committee to implement the Counter Trafficking in Persons by resource mobilization to enable the Advisory Committee deliver on its mandate, report and advise the Cabinet Secretary on inter agency activities aimed at combating trafficking in persons, coordinate the collation of Annual Reports to the Advisory Committee from the ministries dealing with trafficking in persons, prepare and submit to the Cabinet Secretary and the National Assembly an annual report of the policies, programs and activities relating to the implementation of the act, develop periodic reports on regional and international instruments on trafficking in persons, development of standardized training manuals and benchmarking on efforts of combating human trafficking.