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Friday, December 27, 2013

Kenya still a paradise for human traffickers

Kenya still leads region in human trafficking, participants attending a recent forum on human trafficking at Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi noted

The country borders Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, which are known sources of victims. Most of the victims involved are children, young men and young women.

What precisely is human trafficking? This is when a person is forced, coerced, or tricked into doing work against their will. There are many forms of human trafficking, also known as modern day slavery, which exist in the world today. Two main categories are forced labor and sex trafficking, or forced prostitution and pornography. It is estimated that as you read this there are 27 million people enslaved in the 21st century.

This is the fastest growing crime in the world and very difficult to combat because those who hold others captive and force them to work against their will are making profits off this crime. In fact, human trafficking is estimated to be a 32 billion dollar industry.

Some schemes that may seem legitimate, but are used to lure people into captivity include seasonal farm workers, hotel and restaurant work, domestic servants, nannies, and student travel programs. There are many reputable organizations that provide these types of employment and educational programs. However, traffickers routinely use the lure of paying jobs and an education to separate their victims from their money (for travel visas and recruiting fees) and family. Once separated a trafficker may sell the individual to another or force them to work off "travel debt" such as transportation, food, and housing. This debt is at astronomical interests rates, which accumulate daily, and can never be paid off.

Every year, over 9 million men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, worldwide.

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