Human trafficking can be understood as a process by which people are recruited in their community and exploited by traffickers using deception and/or some form of coercion to lure and control them. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Human Trafficking Report, 2012)
According to the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) presented annually by the USA Government, Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking. Kenyan children may be forced into domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation – including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry. They are also frequently used as forced labor in agricultural production (for example in flower plantations), fishing, cattle herding, begging, street vending, and bar attendance, exposing many to incidents of drug abuse. Traffickers, who gain poor families’ trust through familial, tribal, or religious ties, falsely offer to raise and educate children in towns, or promise to obtain lucrative employment for young women. Kenyan adults trafficked to different regions of the world (including Asia, Europe and the US) are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude, forced labor and sexual exploitation. Such vulnerable groups can also be involved in criminal activities, promoting insecurity in Kenya and within the region.
HAART is an NGO located in Nairobi whose volunteers have been working tirelessly since 2010 to bring an end to the scourge of human trafficking in Kenya. HAART is currently conducting awareness campaigns and education in the most susceptible areas in Kenya and eventually they hope to have a rehabilitation center/shelter for the identified victims of human trafficking. Recently the organization’s participants were able to rent a very small secure office. It is often dangerous to speak out about this problem, and several of HAART’s volunteers have received threats, making it imperative to have a safe work space.
HAART need funds for transportation, printing materials, international and regional meetings, sound equipment for awareness campaigns, office rent, and wages for one full time employee. Though Teaching More cannot solicit funds for HAART, we support their efforts and want to help them to spread the word about human trafficking in Kenya. To learn more, or to donate directly, please go to www.haartkenya.org.