United Nations agency says human trafficking rampant in East Africa

Posted on October 12, 2010 by The Counter Human Trafficking Blog in Tanzania

Nairobi – Pana 12/10/2010

Nairobi, Kenya –

Human trafficking is increasing getting rampant in East Africa, with the latest evidence pointing to the trafficking of people from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to work as labourers in Kenya, a UN agency said Tuesday. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said diverse human trafficking trends in East African region have shown that there is an urgent need for greater protection.

‘An IOM cross-border assessment of human trafficking in Kenya and its neighbouring countries has revealed highly diverse trends affecting people of all ages and both genders, and highlighting a much greater need for protection of victims,’ IOM said in a statement.

The assessment, presented at an IOM regional workshop in Kenya focusing on cross-border trafficking in the East African region, found that although people initially may have travelled across borders voluntari ly in search of greener pastures, they were deceived by a range of actors including family, religious acquaintances, business men and retired prostitutes, into working in exploitative situations.

In Kenya, the assessment found evidence of Rwandan, Tanzanian and Ugandan victims of trafficking, including children, working in the capital, Nairobi, as domestic labourers, in the commercial sex and hospitality sectors, and in the agricultural sector in various locations around the country.

Victims were identified in the Kenyan-Ugandan border town of Busia, while Tanzanian children were found working as cattle herders and in motorbike repair shops in Oloitoktok on the Kenyan-Tanzanian border.

They were also working as beggars on the streets of Nairobi and Naivasha in Kenya.

In Tanzania, IOM found evidence of child trafficking from Burundi, Rwanda and Ug anda for sexual exploitation, fishing, domestic servitude and agricultural labour.

Adult victims were identified in the domestic sector, as well as the mining, agricultural and hospitality industries.

The IOM assessment established that Ugandan children are trafficked to all the countries in the region with Uganda also a destination for trafficked victims from Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

In addition, instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was found to be fuelling the influx of trafficked children to Uganda.

Victims are usually transported by road using buses, lorries and trucks.

Although information on Rwanda was scant, the country was identified as a source for victims destined for Italy, Norway and the Netherlands as well as for child victims destined for Nairobi and the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa as domestic workers and for sexual exploitation.


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