An image condemning human trafficking. Photo: Global Issues

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for forced labor, sexual slavery or commercial sexual exploitation in favor of the trafficker.

Trafficking is done for the purposes of exploitation, keeping a person in a state of slavery, subjecting a person to practices similar to slavery, involuntary servitude, forced or fraudulent use of any human being for removal of organs and body parts, forcible or fraudulent use of any human being to take part in armed conflict, forced labor, child labor, sexual exploitation, child marriage & forced marriage

A person commits an offense of trafficking in persons when the person recruits, transports, harbors or receives another person for the purposes of exploitation by means of: Threat or use of force or other forms of coercion; Fraud; Abduction; Deception; Abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability; Giving payment or benefits to obtain the consent of the victim of trafficking in persons or giving or receiving payment or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another one. The consent of the victim of human trafficking to the intended exploitation is not relevant where the aforementioned means have been used.

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation is considered human trafficking even if it doesn’t include the means aforementioned.
Child trafficking can also be in the form of a child being offered for adoption, fostering or offering them for fostering and offering guardianship or offering them for guardianship.

Due to the effect on the victims, the trial of offenders of trafficking in persons is conducted in camera, it is a crime to publish this kind of proceedings. Privacy of victims & witnesses of trafficking includes their names, personal circumstances or any other information leading to establishment of the same. Disclosure of the details is an offence liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years or a fine not less than 5 Million, or both. In the case of a corporate body, the amount is never less than 10 Million.

Human trafficking can be done within (internally) or across (internationally) the borders of Kenya.
A victim of trafficking in persons is not criminally liable for any offense relating to being in Kenya illegally or for any criminal acts that were a direct result of being trafficked. The immigration ministry usually arranges for their repatriation to place of origin. Sometimes, repatriation would mean exposure of the victim’s identity or to danger, in this case, they are allowed to continue staying in Kenya. Where the victim is in a foreign country, the Kenyan government issues necessary travel documents to enable them travel back into the country.