Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kenya

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kenya, 3 June 2005, available at: [accessed 29 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 a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Kenyan children are internally trafficked for forced domestic servitude, street vending, agricultural labor, and sexual exploitation. Children are also trafficked to Kenya's coastal area, where they are sexually exploited in a nascent coastal sex tourism industry catering to foreigners. Kenyan women are trafficked to the Middle East, other African nations, and Western Europe for forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation. Burundian and Rwandan children are trafficked to Kenya for sexual exploitation and unpaid domestic labor. Asian nationals, mainly Chinese women, are reportedly trafficked through Nairobi to Europe. Southeast Asian nationals are coerced into accepting circumstances of bonded and unpaid labor in Kenya's construction and garment industries.

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. To advance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should prosecute suspected traffickers and increase protective services for children found in situations of prostitution.


The government noticeably expanded its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. The constitution prohibits slavery and the penal code outlaws forced detention of women for prostitution, abduction, and labor as well as sexual exploitation of children. Investigations into over 20 cases of trafficking are ongoing, including one involving suspected trafficking of Kenyan children to Tanzania. In mid-2004, the Kenyan Police Service (KPS) launched a ten-person Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) to undertake investigations. The HTU began investigating an alleged child trafficking ring operating between Kenya and the U.K., and it sent investigators to the U.K. to interview suspects. In May 2004, the Department of Immigration detained, interrogated, and deported a South Korean national on the basis of enhanced border controls adopted in part to combat human trafficking. The HTU conducted surveys of individuals and establishments suspected of involvement in trafficking, including brothels, massage parlors, and foreign employment agencies. The government sent seven officials to a regional training session on human trafficking and held a one-day workshop on trafficking surveillance at the borders.


The government's assistance to trafficking victims increased during the reporting period. In 2004, the government implemented a registration program requiring owners of tourist guesthouses to identify and account for all workers. Subsequent investigations resulted in the closure of eight guesthouses and assistance to seven foreign children. A local NGO, with some assistance from the government, repatriated ten Kenyan trafficking victims from Germany. The Ministry of Labor's office in Saudi Arabia continued to pursue cases of Kenyan nationals exploited by their employers. With significant NGO assistance, Kenyan diplomats also sought to assist a Kenyan trafficking victim in Bahrain. The government provided street children involved in commercial sexual exploitation with shelter and medical care. Additionally, under an ILO program to prevent worst forms of child labor, the government continued implementing reforms in this sector, including the rescue of at-risk children from the streets and subsequent provision of vocational and educational training.


During the year, the government initiated broad measures focused on the prevention of trafficking. The KPS, in conjunction with the Ministry of Information, conducted background and on-the-record interviews with Kenyan daily newspapers to increase awareness of regional human trafficking trends and seek public assistance with ongoing investigations. The government widely distributed a human trafficking brochure that increased awareness of the issue among ministry officials. A Ministry of Tourism official presented a report on the sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry and officials met with coastal tourism boards in order to explore the implementation of a future code of conduct guarding against sex tourism. The Ministry of Labor continued its inspection of employment agencies that facilitate overseas employment for Kenyans and provided mandatory pre-departure counseling to citizens departing for work abroad. Government officials spoke on human trafficking at civil society-hosted seminars. In December 2004, the government held its first inter-ministerial meeting on trafficking in persons.

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