KENYA: Internally Displaced Persons Vulnerable to Human Trafficking, Study Shows

NAIROBI MARCH 22, 2016(CISA)- Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) displaced due to the  Post Election Violence (PEV) are more vulnerable to human trafficking than colleagues displaced as a result of ethnic or natural disasters, a study has shown.

“76 people, a representation of 24.6 percent out of 308 randomly selected respondents from IDPs communities experienced or witnessed cases of human trafficking. The two remaining groups, namely natural disaster and ethnic conflict categories have the fewest respondents 37.1 percent and 8.3 percent who had witnessed or experienced human trafficking,” the report read in part.

Speaking when he launched the report titled Displacement, Violence and Vulnerability: Trafficking among Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya at the Hotel Royal Orchid Azure in Westlands, Nairobi, today  Mr Radoslaw Malinowski, the lead researcher said that child, gender, poverty, social and cultural exclusions were some of the factors that led to vulnerability among the IDPs.

The study conducted by Awareness against Human Trafficking (HAART between October 2015 – February 2016 established that IDPS witnessed human trafficking, mostly in urban areas such as Nairobi, Kisii and Naivasha whereas Marsabit, Bomet, Maralal and Wajir were less affected.

“In fact some key informants as well as several Focus Group Discussions confirmed that IDPS in the above locations did not experience or know of any cases of human trafficking,” said Malinowski.

“This is not surprising and confirms the anecdotal evidence about human trafficking. The question then is whether these areas are indeed immune to human trafficking,” he added.

The report also noted that Kenyans still do not understand what human trafficking is with majority of respondents referring to the most common types of trafficking as presented in the national and regional media.

“The media reports on trafficking are usually in reference to people going to countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf Region and this is what probably confuses most people,” he said.

The report cited job agents as key influencers of human trafficking at 88.2 percent of total cases of recruitment followed by strangers at 9.2 percent and relatives at 2.6 percent.

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