Mombasa police urged to fight trafficking abuse
02 July 2014, 07:58
Nairobi - The local police have been urged to enforce the anti-trafficking law to investigate and prosecute offenders in Mombasa
County following high cases of gender-based violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.
These were some of key recommendations that emerged at the end of a two day training workshop organized by the United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children's Emergency Fund and CRADLE, the local children's foundation.
The meeting in Malindi aimed to create awareness among various stakeholders in Mombasa on the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act and the Sexual Offences Act that came into force in 2010.
The stakeholders drawn from the police, NGOs, Ministry of Health, civil society and Tourism Regulatory Authority, decried the alarmingly low number of investigations on the rampant practice of sexual exploitation of children by tourists on the Kenyan coast.
They called for the prosecution of government officials suspected of complicity in human trafficking.
"We have children as young as 12 years being sexually exploited. It has been reported that vehicles transporting 'khat' (Miraa) to Somalia return to the country with young Somali girls who often end up in brothels in the country," stated Sewe Malamba, an official from USAID APHIA who attended the workshop.
Esther Kasiva, a counsellor from Pahali Pa Usalama, said the poverty in Mombasa and the rest of the country served as the right incubator for thriving child sex tourism.
"Children from poor family backgrounds are easy targets, with the promise for better life," she said.
The stakeholders also called for specialized training for law enforcement officials with a main focus on how to identify and respond to trafficking crimes.
There has been a high number of cases on gender-based violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.
Kenya has been identified as a country of origin, transit, and destination for victims of human trafficking.