Every year, Kenya has thousands of men, women and children fall victim to illicit trafficking groups and smuggling of migrants syndicates, and endure inhuman treatment, sexual exploitation, slave-like working conditions and other abuse, making it crucial to ensure that the anti-trafficking units has the capacity to meet the challenges of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).
Thanks to funding by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), UNODC recently presented five vehicles, one generator and other equipment, including digital forensic investigation kits, to the Anti-Human Trafficking & Child Protection unit (AHTCPU) of the Kenya Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
UNODC is enhancing the capacity of Member States in the Horn of Africa, including through the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme – specifically addressing TIP and SOM within, to and from the Horn of Africa – by providing technical expertise and support to the respective criminal justice entities, including specialized units. This support and assistance focus on enhancing of legal frameworks and strengthening criminal justice capacity, including through the procurement of equipment, to effectively implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementing Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Trafficking in Persons Protocol) and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of Migrants Protocol).
Ms. Sylvie Bertrand, Deputy Regional Representative at the UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa, encouraged Kenya to take a leading role in promoting regional law enforcement cooperation aimed at preventing and counter transnational organized crime, including TIP and SOM. She also thanked the EU and Germany for their continued partnership and financial support to UNODC in Eastern Africa.
Ms. Katrin Hageman, Deputy Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kenya, congratulated UNODC for their part in ensuring effective implementation of the BMM Programme while noting the complexity of TIP and SOM in the Horn of Africa.
Mr. Thomas Wimmer, Acting Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya, commended the Government of Kenyan for its tremendous efforts countering and preventing TIP and SOM, and congratulated UNODC and other implementing partners for making significant progress in implementing the BMM programme despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He promised continued support to Kenya in countering the crimes of TIP and SOM.
In his keynote address, Mr. George Kinoti, Director of the DCI, reflected on the DCI’s mission to prevent and counter TIP and SOM in Kenya, and thanked all the BMM partners for their support and commitment.
The handover of the vehicles and equipment to the DCI AHTCPU marked the end of Phase 1 (2016-2019) of the BMM programme in Kenya. UNODC recently completed phase 1 in Somalia, and will also be handing over equipment to the Ethiopia Federal Police Commission in Addis Ababa in the coming weeks.