Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kenya

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kenya, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Kenya (Tier 2)

Kenya is country of origin and transit for trafficked persons, primarily women and children. Internal trafficking occurs in the form of forced child labor and child prostitution. There are an estimated 200,000 street children in Kenya, a significant number of whom are engaged in illegal activities, including prostitution. Women are trafficked to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries for labor, while children are often trafficked to Uganda for work. Women from Eastern Europe and Asia are trafficked through Kenya en route to western countries.

The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government needs to prosecute traffickers vigorously, provide training to law enforcement on the distinction between trafficking and smuggling, step up public awareness on child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor, and act against corruption among the police and immigration officials.


The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced labor. The Children's Act of 2001 prohibits all forms of child labor that would prevent children under 16 from going to school or that is exploitative and hazardous. The Children's Act also prohibits child sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Home Affairs and an international organization have set up community-based District Advisory Committees to monitor child labor issues at the district and local levels, including school attendance and assistance provided to children. These committees have assisted 2,803 children; including 1,252 working in hazardous conditions and 297 working in forced labor conditions. The government is removing street children, placing them in youth homes and in social halls, and providing them with meals and shelter to prevent them from being victimized. The government participates in an international program seeking to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is undertaking a survey of the extent of the problem. The government also works with the child labor unit of the labor unions to assist children working in the agricultural sector, by providing training and education for employers about child labor. The government cooperates with international and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about child domestics. Free primary education has been reinstated as a means to assist vulnerable populations and prevent trafficking.


Although there are no laws that specifically prohibit trafficking, there is a law that prohibits child labor, the transportation of children for sale, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and the Penal Code prohibits detaining females against their will for the purposes of prostitution. Child labor laws are enforced by the Ministry of Labor's Child Labor Unit, which has 10 full-time inspectors who also coordinate enforcement with other government agencies. A Human Trafficking Unit within the police was established in 2002, but its focus has been on immigration fraud. Government officials were implicated in identification fraud to facilitate illegal smuggling and six foreign nationals were deported for suspected smuggling of citizens to the Middle East.


The government provides programs to place street children in shelters. The government provides some support to international organizations and NGOs to assist children in domestic service that includes education, skills training, counseling, legal advice, and a shelter for girls abused by their employers.

Search Refworld