Bring Joy Back Home

Consolation East Africa invites you to a captivating performance on human trafficking that will be staged at the Alliance Francaise on 11th June 2016 from 7 to 8 pm.

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Internally Displaced Persons Vulnerable to Human Trafficking, Study Shows

NAIROBI MARCH 22, 2016(CISA)-

Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) displaced due to the  Post Election Violence (PEV) are more vulnerable to human trafficking than colleagues displaced as a result of ethnic or natural disasters, a study has shown.

“76 people, a representation of 24.6 percent out of 308 randomly selected respondents from IDPs communities experienced or witnessed cases of human trafficking. The two remaining groups, namely natural disaster and ethnic conflict categories have the fewest respondents 37.1 percent and 8.3 percent who had witnessed or experienced human trafficking,” the report read in part.

Speaking when he launched the report titled Displacement, Violence and Vulnerability: Trafficking among Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya at the Hotel Royal Orchid Azure in Westlands, Nairobi, Mr Radoslaw Malinowski, the Lead researcher said that child, gender, poverty, social and cultural exclusions were some of the factors that led to vulnerability among the IDPs.

The study conducted by Awareness against Human Trafficking (HAART between October 2015 – February 2016 established that IDPS witnessed human trafficking, mostly in urban areas such as Nairobi, Kisii and Naivasha whereas Marsabit, Bomet, Maralal and Wajir were less affected.

“In fact some key informants as well as several Focus Group Discussions confirmed that IDPS in the above locations did not experience or know of any cases of human trafficking,” said Malinowski.

“This is not surprising and confirms the anecdotal evidence about human trafficking. The question then is whether these areas are indeed immune to human trafficking,” he added.

The report also noted that Kenyans still do not understand what human trafficking is with majority of respondents referring to the most common types of trafficking as presented in the national and regional media.

“The media reports on trafficking are usually in reference to people going to countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf Region and this is what probably confuses most people,” he said.

The report cited job agents as key influencers of human trafficking at 88.2 percent of total cases of recruitment followed by strangers at 9.2 percent and relatives at 2.6 percent.

Former Koinonia Beneficiary Wins a Youth Enterpreneurship Award

Mr. Samuel Mang’era Mwita (22) led other youth (former Koinonia Beneficiaries from Anita and Ndugu Mdogo homes) to scoop the Kito-Domogo Enterpreneurship Challenge Award. Samuel and his Staff Investment Group (SIG) hope to enhance reintegration success among care-leavers and street youth.

Mr. Samuel Mang’era Mwita  led other youth (former Koinonia Beneficiaries from Anita and Ndugu Mdogo homes) to scoop the Kito-Domogo Enterpreneurship Challenge Award. Samuel and his Staff Investment Group (SIG) hope to enhance reintegration success among care-leavers and street youth.

 Story by Samuel  Mang’era Mwita

My name is Samuel Mang’era Mwita. I am a former Koinonia Community beneficiary having grown up in Ndugu Mdogo home in Kerarapon from 2007 December to 2010 December. I also managed to complete my secondary school education in the year 2014 from Domus Mariae School (Popularly known as “DMS”). I am at the moment a youth peer educator at families to families, a Koinonia Project meant to ensure the success of the reintegration process. I am also assisting in the families to families’ income generating project where we raise about 500 chicken for the Ngong and surrounding areas markets.

Just like all other youth who grew up in charitable homes, I had my own share of childhood challenges. My family had little means and hence life was very difficult. I had to fend for myself for most of my childhood. The solace came when I was admitted in Ndugu Mdogo where most of my basic needs were met. I now can confidently face life and the future.

My experience of life and upbringing have molded me adequately to face all manner of challenges I encounter. “I am not afraid of difficulties, since for most of my life, I have been in their midst and steered myself out of them successfully.” One of my colleagues in speaking of these challenges says “Streets have hard lessons and calamities that can hardly be endured by ordinary men. Once you become their resident then you learn to eat what sickens the mainstream society, find a night’s comfort on flooded corridors and bridges and last but not least find security in the unsafe.” I am not sure if I can fully say that I can divorce my life experience from the above quote, however, what I have done is to invest on various ways to find inspiration and live positively. I believe that I can achieve any dream I set out to achieve despite the surmounting challenges that may present themselves before me. God helps me win. I am a winner today and will win many more battles tomorrow!

This molding was the main motivation and driving force behind my participation in the Kito-Domogo Youth Enterpreneurship challenge. When I saw the challenge I quickly organized a group of four people made of two young ladies formerly beneficiaries of Anita Home for Girls (Cynthia Nduta and Mary) and two young men former beneficiaries of Ndugu Mdogo (George Ngare and Myself) into what I christened “Staff Investment Group” (SIG). We came up with a business plan under the theme of “rearing and selling chicken and meat products in order to provide financial freedom to needy youth”. Through our project idea we hoped to provide a channel which could help youth leaving care reintegrate well into the society. In essence, our project is a social enterprise which on one hand seeks to generate as much profits as possible. We do not intend to make losses in any way. On the other, we intend to provide reintegration solutions to societal problems encountered by care-leavers and former street youth.

At first we were very doubtful about our idea. It did not appear to be innovative and strong enough to make it through the preliminary selection of the challenge. Hence we approached several friends who challenged our idea and prompted us to make improvements on it. They made us think beyond the business aspect of our project to inculcate a social impact element effectively. Their challenges made us to change the direction of our thinking from a pure business that maximizes profits only to a social enterprise that has a double impact on problem solution and profit maximization.

Despite having refined our idea, we were not confident enough. We however decided to present it for the competition. To our surprise, it was nominated amongst other eight finalists from a myriad project ideas. The eight finalists were subjected to popular voting through the www.herox.com website. We were once more surprised as days went on, our project was becoming more popular than all the others. We hence received many votes twice our second competitor and many more times against all others. The voters also expressed their great support to our idea through many inspirational and encouraging messages.

In the midnight of 30th October 2015, we were declared the winners of the Kito-Domogo 2015 Youth Enterpreneurship Challenge. We were far from each other hence we could not shout together. However we called each other and shared our excitement. Several friends called too to congratulate us. From a brainstorming idea, now with this victory, staff investment group (SIG) is a living enterprise. We are sure it will not only start but live to become a formidable social impact oriented firm. We shall be privileged to also build the project with Kito International who are our venture capital providers.

Now that we have won, we have derived many lessons. We realize that any social enterpreneurship idea could be an innovative idea. All that matters is the impact it purports to have in the society. Secondly, winning is not easy, you must invest a lot of resources in terms of leadership, time, communication, physical energy, networking and enabling your supporters to support you. It means that people will always support you and your idea when you provide them with the right platform to do so. The other issue is that consulting whether in your project team or outside, help you to clarify your idea. We can attest to this when we received a feedback that our idea was “very simple and ordinary but clearly detailed” by a very significant person.

Lastly, to finish our story without thanking our dedicated supporters would be in vain. We also recognize the great work done by Kito-Dimogo in promoting youth enterpreneurship. God bless you all!

International Day of the Girl Child to take place on 11th October.

The International day of the girl child is usually celebrated on the 11th October . Join this year's celebrations wherever you will be!

The International day of the girl child is usually celebrated on the 11th October . Join this year’s celebrations wherever you will be!

Theme 2015: The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030

In 2011, a United Nations resolution established 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), a day designated for promoting the rights of girls and addressing the unique challenges they face. The inaugural day in 2012 focused on the issue of ending child marriage; in 2013 the theme was “Innovating for Girls’ Education”; and in 2014 the theme was “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”.

As the lead agency for the Day, UNICEF, in consultation with other United Nations agencies and civil society partners, selected as this year’s theme, “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”.

This year, as the international community assesses progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since their implementation in 2000 and launches the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for implementation by 2030, girls born at the turn of the millennium have reached adolescence, and the generation of girls born this year will be adolescents in 2030.

As we reflect on the achievements of the past 15 years and plan sustainable development goals for the next 15, it is an opportune time to consider the importance of social, economic, and political investment in the power of adolescent girls as fundamental to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination and to achieving equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

New Study on Trafficking for Labour in Kenya

Title: Trafficking of Adults for Force Labour in Kenya: Gender Intersectionality and Gender

Author: Anni Alexander

Type of Study: Masters Thesis

Date: August 2015

Institution : Aalborg University, Denmark

A new study has been written by HAART Kenya in cooperation with Anni Alexander as a Master’s thesis for Aalborg University in Aalborg. Kindly click on the image below to download it

Click on the picture to download the research..

Human trafficking is the recruitment and exploitation of a person often involving deception or coercion. People are trafficked for three main reasons: (commercial) sexual exploitation, forced labour, or organ removal. Sex traffickinghas been researched extensively in the past two decades and has also received a lot of attention in the media, and so this research focuses on human trafficking for forced labour.

The study is geographically limited to Kenya, which has a high unemployment rate and struggles to deal with human trafficking. The research question is: why are men and women being trafficked for forced labour in Kenya and what are their experiences?The research focuses on experiences of human trafficking and the issues with prevention, and uses gender as both a methodology as well as a theoretical framework to guide the research planning and analysis. In addition, there is a special focus on intersectionality.

20 people were interviewed for this research. This includes 12 victims of trafficking (VoTs) and eight key informants. Out of the 12 VoTs, eight are female and four are male. Key informants include staff from organisations that work on human trafficking and/or migration as well as people that work on the grass roots.

It was found that VoTs are motivated to migrate for labour due to the high unemployment rate in Kenya and low wages; they felt unable to earn enough money in Kenya to support themselves and their families and sought out opportunities elsewhere. VoTs showed agency in the migration decision and made the decision to migrate either by themselves or with their family.

While the VoTs made the decision to migrate, they did not consent to being trafficked. They were deceived by recruiters to accept offers of work who used the VoTs’ lack of knowledge to lure them. VoTs were most commonly deceived about the amount of salary but at times also about the type of work and location of work. There is some evidence that those with higher education levels, especially women, are more likely to be deceived about the type of work available.

It was also found that VoTs suffer from different types of exploitation once trafficked. This includes lack of food and rest, being overworked, coercion and threats, and physical and sexual violence. Female VoTs are more likely to face sexual harassment and violence than male VoTs. There is evidence that Kenyan women who migrate outside of the region to the Middle East might suffer from sexual violence not only because of their gender but also because of their race; their experience of sexual violence is thus an intersectional one.

VoTs reported issues with distrust with their families and the community. Other people did not believeVoTs had returned from working abroad without money. However, women reported this issue less, and there is evidence that the fact the local media reports cases of women being trafficked to the Middle East helps families believe female VoTs. VoTs themselves showed distrust towards authorities and were reluctant to report their cases to the police. They cited corruption and inaction of the police force as reasons for this. Those that did try to report their case to the police were turned away.

There is evidence that gender plays a role in the experiences of VoTs. In addition to female VoTs being more likely to suffer from sexual violence, they experienced more control. Furthermore, gendered norms and cultural practices dictate what type of employment VoTs are recruited for; women are generally recruited for house work and men for manual labour such as construction work.

It was found that lack of access to information contributes to human trafficking; victims are unaware of the dangers. Furthermore, as people from the lower classes have less access to media and to information and women in that social group are generally less educated than men, lower class women might be at a greater danger of being trafficked. An awareness campaing that takes into consideration issues with access to information, gender, and intersectionality is needed to curb human trafficking.

Certain policy changes could reduce human trafficking for forced labour in Kenya. Regulating out-migration could reduce human trafficking without reducing labour migration. This could include monitoring employment agents or suspending them. Also, a single entity that either handles out-migration or monitors employment agents should be created. Additionally, bi-lateral agreements between Kenya and destination countries or a regional (East-African) agreement similar to that of the Colombo process could reduce human trafficking by regularising labour migration.

Trace Kenya in the Fore Front of Addressing Human Trafficking in the Coast of Kenya

2015 was a very busy year for Trace Kenya. So far, the organization supported the rescue and return of 73 young women from trafficking for labor in the Middle East countries.

In all cases, Trace Kenya made reviews on:

  • Reasons why they travelled for labor abroad
  • Country and city of travel to
  • Nature of work and payments
  • Length of stay
  • Forms of violence experienced (if any)[1]

While one would expect the reason for travel as being “to get employment for myself and fend for my family”, many married women usually say that they were not in a stable marriage, hence they felt the need to go away and stay away from an abusive, negligent or violent spouse. Usually, though the men will be made to accept to release their wives to go, but many men are often told the woman is out on scholarship or a different work from the one they end up in. Common comments are “niliona nimtokee ili niangalie watoto wangu”. Some single mothers usually go to be able to fend for their children; however by far and large, a majority is young unmarried girls – easily vulnerable to sexual abuse in their places of work.

On forms of violence, if any they all state that they face verbal abuse (in all cases of reported violence) from the employer and their wife.

Other forms of abuse are overwork and little rest and sometimes less pay than anticipated. However they also face unsolicited sexual advances – in many cases in all jobs and not just domestic work (both men and women) including one gender sexual advances that are tinged with threats to violence. Women, particularly younger women face actual sexual violence and are often gang raped. In larger household, bigger boys and their parents sexually harass a domestic worker, leading to punishments if there is any resistance.

It is alleged that the men feel it is okay to rape their harem (slaves) as this is permissible – on condition that they pay them up when they release them!

Of the 73 returnees, all except 3 reported sexual abuse – by virtue of their being female and “slaves”. For the remaining, 1 reported sexual advance by the employer (similar to office sexual harassment, but she was able to elude the employer by feigning death of a close relative and came back with promise of returning, but did not return); two reported sheer overwork, lack of sleep and little food.

In February 2015 and July 2015 Trace Kenya has also supported the return of two Tanzanian victims of trafficking back to Dar es Salaam and Tanga respectively. A girl child (16) who faced sexual harassment at every turn including from her “rescuers” in Mombasa, Kinango and Diani) and was even implicated in theft by her last Tanzanian benefactor, hence landing in jail – which turned out to be her good luck, as she was placed under probation and Trace Kenya got to assist her. The second victim, an old woman (aged 46) who was made to run away from her marriage by a secret lover, who in turn made her a sex slave in Hola Tana River, was also constantly sexually and emotionally abused. She ran away, but the man who had “married” her connived with police to arrest her as an illegal migrant. Her case came to our notice and we supported a probation report that led to her rescue. Another victim, a Rwandese woman, (32) now a registered refugee status, was equally physically and sexually abused by her Kenyan partner who perpetually taunted her “to go and report anywhere and nothing will happen to me because you are a refugee, a prostitute and have no roots” When the matter was reported to Trace Kenya, the man disappeared.

Past experiences show the same fate for victims of human trafficking and girl children of trafficking. Men do not report their experiences. In fact Trace Kenya has only been able to deal with 7 men in 24 months, compared to close to 300 women during the same period.

Trafficking in general is very violent. It has gender dimension except for trafficking for body parts extraction and begging on the streets which favor albinism and persons with disabilities respectively. It is a violent crime with gender dimension. Girls and young women are trafficked for domestic work (and related gender and sexual based violence); boys and young men are trafficked to labor in fields (and denied sexual rights as they are treated as slaves) Even a domestic worker (mboch[2]) who starts relating with the opposite sex is usually considered badly behaved and will in all probability be thrown out of the household. The employer has near total control of the worker including determining their sexual behavior!

Trafficking is also driven by sexual trade and commercial sex work. Child sex workers (commercial sexual exploitation of children) face numerous sex partners without proper protection and hence their sexual and reproductive rights are abused. Boys are introduced into male to male sexual acts without the prerequisite medical support. Trace Kenya has had several young men approach us for assistance to purchase adult diapers because they were suffering incontinence due to repeated anal sex. Besides this children faced with child sex tourism are now in the region of 50,000[3] in the coast region alone.

[1] Trace Kenya VOT assistance procedure report 2015

[2] A common slang Swahili reference to domestic workers in Kenya. Many are usually children.

[3] KPN study 2014

Go for plum job positions, President Uhuru challenges women

The President says empowering women will bring positive change and bridge gender gap

On the 13th August 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta encouraged qualified women to take up leadership roles to boost gender equity.

Speaking during the official opening of the Nairobi +30 and launch of two-third gender principal campaign at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Uhuru said women, who constitute more than 50 per cent of the country’s population, will bring about positive change in the country.

“Development cannot be rapid and resilient unless it is also inclusive and equitable. It must respect the dignity of all by involving them closely, given that half of humanity are women,” he said.

“Women empowerment is a must, not an option and no gender equity no development, thus women must be given the prominence that they so rightfully deserve.”

President Uhuru also urged women to lobby for the two-third gender rule, saying it will boost gender equality thus lead to economic empowerment.

The Nairobi +30 commemorates 30 years since Kenya first hosted the Third World Conference on women. The first world conference on women was held in Mexico in 1975.

The meeting also commemorated the Third World Conference on Women held in Kenya in 1985. “Any delay of empowerment of women is a delay of the development of the Nation,” he said.

Uhuru emphasized the need for women empowerment, saying it will settle women’s inclusion and gender equality in the country.

He said although progress in the empowerment of women has been slow and uneven across the globe, Kenya has been at the forefront in facilitating gender equality.

Empowerment progress
“While Kenya’s current Cabinet consists of 31 per cent female ministers, six out of 18and at county level, women account for 6 per cent of elected MCAs. Although there no female governor, female deputy governors make up 19 per cent while more than a third of County Commissioners are women,” he said.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru lauded Kenya’s progress in women empowerment, saying there are increased enrollments of women in schools to their participation in all scopes of development.

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