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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Charity blames porous borders for rise in child trafficking in Kenya

by Peter Mutai NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan-based child protection organization said on Thursday that the country’s porous borders are the hot spots for child trafficking to other parts of the world.

The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) said the East African nation’s border posts of Moyale, Mandera in northern Kenya and Busia in Western Kenya are lucrative for trafficking children for terrorism and prostitution activities.

"We must all play active role in ending child trafficking from the shocking crime," ANPPCAN Director of Programs Wambui Njuguna told journalists during the launch of the report on child trafficking in Nairobi.

Njuguna said child trafficking has increased drastically and changed in nature in the last five years despite government efforts.

The study, which was conducted in January, finds that child trafficking is rampant due to lack of coordination between organizations and government agencies.

It also attributes rampant cases of child trafficking to corruption where local administrators and immigration officials provide illegal identification papers to facilitate the movement of the victims across the borders.

The study found out that 60 percent of the children sampled have access to internet, hence the possibility of being approached online.

"Two of the five girls from Mandera that were approached through the internet were planned to be married to ISIS militants," says the study.

Njuguna blamed increased trafficking cases to rampant poverty and societal misunderstandings that drive children out of school thus denying them an opportunity to learn the dangers of joining traffickers.

"Children education should be taken seriously by ensuring that they attend classes as opposed to assuming that schools are free," she noted.

Njuguna said that to eliminate the vice, the government should reinforce laws on children molestation and allocate funds to support the efforts.

According to ANPPCAN Program Manager Aggrey Willis Otieno, there are fears that more children especially those with albinism may be targeted for trafficking due to beliefs.

He noted that despite having anti-trafficking laws in place in Kenya, children have over the years been lured to forced labour both locally and abroad.

"The laws are poorly enforced due to inadequate popularization and weak institutional capacity to address the challenges," Otieno added.

 

             

 

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