Middle East/Africa

Unpunished Crime in Kenya

Cases of human trafficking have become widespread and perpetrators never punished as majority of them go undetected.

‘Kenya is classified as a source, transit and destination for victims of trafficking in human persons’, a senior prosecution counsel in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Ms Katherine Kithikii told participants attending a multi-agency workshop in Naivasha, Nakuru County last week.

“Thorough and efficient investigations coupled with effective prosecutions can provide a means to tackling the source and destination rather than targeting hired middlemen involved in the vice ” said the prosecutor. A sure mechanism to win the war against human trafficking is to detect the source, disrupt transit points and dismantling of criminal networks.

“Critical in combating human trafficking is collaboration among agencies involved in the criminal justice system; the police, prosecution and the judiciary”, observed Ms Kithikii. The senior prosecutor was addressing a Multi-agency team attending a five day workshop Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The prosecution, in establishing criminal liability for the trafficking in persons has the responsibility to prove elements of the United Nations Article 3(a) of the protocol to prevent and punish trafficking in persons. “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of threat, or use of force or other forms of coercion of abduction, of fraud, deception, abuse of power or position of vulnerability or the giving of or payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another for the purpose of exploitation” said Kithikii.

In the war on human trafficking, key investigation and prosecution tools are statutes; the Constitution of Kenya, ODPP Act, Counter trafficking In Persons Act, the Children’s Act, Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, Shipping and Merchants Act, Evidence Act, Criminal Procedure Code and Sexual Offences act.

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