Detectives from the Transnational Organized Crime Unit have rescued 25 women who are victims of human trafficking.
The Burundians, aged between 24 and 33 years, were being held hostage at the suspected traffickers’ home in Gwa-Kairu area within Juja, Kiambu County.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the women were being held there pending transit to Asian countries where they were likely to be traded as domestic workers.
Three suspects have since been arrested and are set to appear in court.
According to a report by the US Department of State, “The Government of Kenya does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.”
They recommend that Kenya’s authorities should increase protective services to adult trafficking victims particularly those identified and repatriated from overseas.
This includes ensuring potential victims are not “inappropriately” penalized for crimes committed “as a direct result of their being subjected to trafficking, vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish traffickers, including forced labour cases; amend the anti-trafficking law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment.”
According to the report, Kenya is a source, transit and destination country for many victims of human trafficking within the region.
Victims are usually subjected to forced labour in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending, and begging.
Girls and boys, the report reveals, are exploited in commercial sex throughout Kenya, including in sex tourism in Nairobi, Kisumu and on the Coast, particularly in informal settlements. At times, “their exploitation is facilitated by family members.”