Target : Kenya Ministry of Labour and Human Development
Goal: Put pressure on local law enforcement to arrest sex traffickers in Kenya.
Human trafficking is increasing rapidly in Eastern Africa. Vulnerable people, primarily young girls, are being kidnapped, coerced, or sold into sex slavery every day. Increasing poverty is largely to blame for the problem. With families becoming more desperate for money, older children will often be coerced with promises of fair wages to support their family. Families may also sell children into slavery out of desperation. In addition, young women or children may be kidnapped off the street. The high influx of refugees in the area also provides targets for sex traffickers.
According to Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) Information Officer Andrew Maina, studies have indicated that at least 50 girls between the ages of 10 and 15 are sold as sex workers every week in major towns in Kenya. Once enslaved, they endure mental, physical, and sexual abuse every day, losing their hope and dignity. Tourism in the country promotes sex trafficking, vacation hotspots becoming hubs for pimps to operate.
In Kenya, crime is highly prevalent, and local law enforcement is often more interested in lining their pockets than protecting citizens. Because of this corruption, officers are often aware of sex trafficking, but ignore it after bribes from brothel owners. However, their superiors in government offices are much more transparent, and heavy pressure from above can hold officers responsible to protect the rights of their most vulnerable citizens.
Government officials should increase pressure for local law enforcement to arrest sex traffickers. With increased pressure from the international community, including your voice today, officials in Kenya will know that the continuance of sex trafficking will not be tolerated. They need to hold officers accountable to protect vulnerable women and children, and arrest sex traffickers.
Dear Kenya Ministry of Labour and Human Development,
I implore you to protect your most vulnerable citizens from the rapid increase of sex trafficking in your country. The rise in drought and poverty has triggered a boost in kidnapping and exploitation, especially for women and young girls. Children are being kidnapped or coerced to sexual slavery. These victims are being physically, mentally, and sexually abused every single day. Everyone deserves freedom and dignity, and theirs must be restored.
It is your duty to ensure the safety and liberty of your citizens. The international community is aware of the rise of sex trafficking in Kenya, and it will not be tolerated. Please make significant efforts to ensure that law enforcement officers are arresting sex traffickers, while paying heed that the trafficked are victims, not criminals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Angela Sevin