Sadly, Kenya has an issue with trafficking in general. In 2014, 658 children victims of trafficking were found in 18 of the 47 counties of Kenya. That is about one third of counties. This trafficking is usually for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
According to the 2015 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report Sex trafficking is most common in mild narcotic cultivation areas, near Nyanza’s gold mines, along the coast by truck drivers transporting stones from quarries, and by fishermen on Lake Victoria. Most often these sex slaves are children. When people are trafficked into Kenya it is often from East Africa and Sudan. Kenya has Somalian refugee space throughout the country. People note that there is often sexual exploitation in these camps. However, from the 2013 to 2015 report there was a significant decrease. This shows that Kenya is on the right track.
In 2014 a bill was passed that would help decrease trafficking. It does so by providing more resources for victims. The bill sets aside a fund for victims of trafficking. It also provides safe places to stay, food, medical treatment, psychosocial care and police protection. One of the hopes is that this new protection helps victims feel more comfortable bringing forward evidence. In 2012 a bill was passed the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act. However, this has not seen too much success because it requires a high level of proof. Hopefully, the increased willingness of victims to provide information will lead to more convictions.
The Sustainable Development Goals, often referred to as SDGs, have finally begun to address human trafficking. These goals will be worked towards over the next 15 years. Of the 17 goals, three human trafficking concerns are addressed. The first is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The second is to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” The third is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
The first goal works to combat the sexism of the human trafficking industry. Sexism is an issue in Kenya-it is often part of their culture. In 2013 President Obama spoke in Kenya about Kenya’s need to rise above the sexism in the country’s history. If women were empowered in Kenya, they would not be as vulnerable to human trafficking. About 98 percent of sex trafficking victims are women. This is an incredible number. If there is more gender equality it makes sense that the number of total victims would go down.
The second goal works to combat the need for this industry. In Kenya, children are sometimes forced by parents into sex trafficking because of the economic need. If there were decent work for all there would be no need for this. If this second goal were met it would mean a lot for Kenya because it is a developing nation. While some people live a suitable life, others are vulnerable to trafficking because of their social class or economic situation.
The third goal would helps to make people more accountable for human trafficking. This is part of what the 2014 bill was addressing. If people are able to get away with this crime, people will continue to do it. If there is a strict legal system in place people will be accountable for their crimes.
Personally, I believe that the third goal is the most important. In the United States, we still see human trafficking even though there is gender equality and a sustainable equality. The thing that most countries are lacking is the proper justice system that prioritizes action against these types of injustice.