The above-named boy went missing in November 2020. His mother, Sarah who is a single parent aged 35 lives at ‘Highway’ Estate, Nairobi. Fabs started engaging with other boys from the environs of Mukuru and surrounding areas. They had been moving around the residential areas especially during the period of Covid-19. It was believed that some of the boys were already members of feared Gaza gangs.

Fabs disappeared from the family for more than a week and his mother reported and recorded the matter at the local police Station under OB N0. 30/30/11/2020. Later, she went ahead to search for her son but all in vain. One evening, she received a call from one of her friends who informed her that she had sighted her son with a group of other children who were believed to be “the disciples of Gaza”, and that the boy had completely changed his dress code.

The mother left what she was doing and rushed to rescue her son but first, she had to arrange for security by mobilizing police officers because the Gaza gangs are a ruthless lot. When she got to the scene, she couldn’t figure out why her son was wearing a lady’s dress as well as putting on breasts like caricatures on his chest. When the boy saw his mother, he shouted at top of his voice……, “Mum, what are you doing here”? That was the time when the mother recognized the voice of her son.  With the help of the security officers they managed to rescue the boy and took him back home to their home. The mother tried to question the boy regarding what happened. She later realized that the boy was recruited by a group of boys who later handed him over to their “Boss” at Ashton Villa based in the neighboring Estate. The boy explained that he was later placed in a room with other two men and two ladies with firm instructions that he must comply and conform to whatever he was asked to do.

The boy was sexually abused and forced to move in with other men for sexual favors……. all this while, the gang leader got paid for his services. He was placed under strict surveillance by a gang master who constantly monitored his movements.   The boy further explained that he was not alone as there were other children from other slums within Nairobi who were facing the same kind of exploitation (both boys and girls). It was clear that the illegal business was sustained by provision of high-quality security from the gangs.

Action Taken

Once the victim got home, he expressed suicidal thoughts to his mother who in turn embraced him close to herself and reported the case once again to the local Police Station, recorded a statement and booked an OB No. 105/20/01/2021 for further investigation and follow up with the case. The mother later took the boy to the nearest Hospital (Mama Lucy) for further medical checkup. Tests confirmed that the boy was involved in anal sex for a period of more than a month. He was however HIV negative even though issued with preventive emergency medication (PEPs).

Current Status

The mother is now in need of a safe space to help the boy reform and get back on his feet and back to school. This case was reported to CHTEA by a Community Volunteer based at the vicinity of the incident. Once the report was received, a further contact was made with the Anti Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHTCPU) of the Police who took over the case from the local police station where the matter was first reported to. In conjunction with CHTEA, the AHTCPU offered professional counselling services to the victim as well as sought out for a safe house.

The case however took a new turn when the boy expressed interest to go back to his previous school and disengage from the gang life. This happened after counselling. The case is still being processed and CHTEA remains available to support the victim alongside the police children’s unit.

Note: Names and identities of both the boy (victim) and the mother have been changed to protect them from any harm




Victim Rescue and Repatriation.

As the Covid-19 pandemic progressed in the latter half of 2020, we were called to a number of pathetic circumstances where child victims of human trafficking were physically and psychologically abused.  Some had run away from where they were taken from distant areas of Kenya to be domestic servants in Nairobi slums.  We managed to repatriate a total of 12 children, taking each one to his/her parental home, which for us means we must travel with two people in line with safeguarding regulations to accompany the girl or boy to the parental home – all of the above children were under 13 years old.

A 6 year old Domestic Servant

‘Katasia’ stands out for me more than all the others.  She is a little Ugandan girl aged 6 years who was a domestic servant in the (rented) one roomed house of her biological aunt to cater for two boys aged 14 & 16 and a girl aged 13 years.  (See photo below) She was taken to Nairobi on the pretext of a good education, but she never saw the inside of any school and was never left with any food for the whole day.  One day, she found 50 Kenya Shillings equivalent of 50 cents (in British system) and went out to buy chips for herself.  In the evening, she was thoroughly beaten by the aunt (with visible welts even 2 days later), then she boiled water and poured it over the unsuspecting child.  The sight of her burns was horrific as you see from the copious bandaging.  She was of tender age, away from her parents and country of origin. Some women came around next morning as they had heard a child’s screams, they called us to see a way forward.

The procedure to follow here is that the matter is reported to the Chief and he involves the police.  Our facilitator was the first to arrive at the scene, in line with the directions of the Chief (who came himself also to see the child).  Immediately, he recommended that she be taken into the care of one of the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), while we arranged transportation to hospital. Our facilitator and the CHV travelled to the hospital where she was admitted for 5 days.  On discharge, we took her to a Safe house for children.  It will be difficult to trace her family and the Uganda border is still locked down.  We suspect the lady has bribed the police as she should be handed down 8 – 15 years in jail but we keep fighting a losing battle most of the time.  Eventually, we will have to take the child with her aunt to the family home in Uganda.


Child trafficking is very rampant in Kenya, it is pathetic and very disturbing to see the cruelty meted out to children of tender years.  ‘Katesia’ is a small and very vulnerable child.  The teenage sons of her aunt made several attempts to frighten the CHV who housed and attended the child’s needs.  Eventually, the Chief had to post a Government soldier on the house of CHV.  When the little girl was discharged  the CHV moved out of that area but not before we had found a very nice, child friendly Safe house for ‘Katesia’  Even though the child should be taken from there because it exceeds the 3 month ‘grace’ period that children are kept at that centre but the staff are very understanding of the dilemmas we face. The court case of the aunt who committed this heinous crime is still on-going and yet she is the only one who can find the home place of ‘Katesia’ who is the daughter of her sister.

Note: Names and identities have been changed to protect victim from any harm


Annual Report: 2020


“Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa” (CHTEA) was registered in 2018 as a vehicle to continue the very successful work on counter human trafficking of an Irish Missionary, Sr Mary O’Malley, MMM based in Nairobi, Kenya. Having arrived in Kenya as a young missionary in 1980, Sr Mary of the congregation of the Medical Missionaries of Mary embarked on different assignments ranging from working for the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), as a team leader of Natural Family Planning, travelling to do Training and Co-ordination in the dioceses. She later took up Regional leadership of MMM Kenya. It was during this period that Mukuru Community Health Center was established, today it is a key Centre for Awareness on Counter Trafficking in a catchment area of almost one million people. Upon exiting from leadership and a sabbatical, Sr Mary embarked on an uncharted waters of counter human trafficking in 2006. During this period, she co-founded three other Kenyan organizations in the hope that her new ministry would find a posterity vehicle. However, it was not until 2018 that she cofounded CHTEA with three Kenyans. Since then, CHTEA has been on upward growth and development and is poised to become one of the leading institutions on the counter human trafficking sector in the East African region.

So far, CHTEA has a clear Strategic Plan and a strong Board of Trustees with capacity to steer our growth portfolio to attain high standards of both quality and impact in programming. The institution espouses virtues of good governance, transparency, integrity and accountability to both donors, partners and beneficiaries.


 The year 2020 began with a lot of optimism and high expectation based on the mirrored success of 2019. The events preceding 2020 were a strong pillar in defining the new beginnings. Such events included building strengthened partnerships with both government institutions, civil society organizations and networks (both national, regional and international). On many fronts, CHTEA received strong recognition and salutation for providing leadership and participating in many priority areas within the sector.

The most significant defining moment for 2020 was the advent of Covid-19 pandemic. The virus was confirmed to have reached Kenya on 13th March 2020, with the initial cases reported in the capital city Nairobi and in the coastal area Mombasa county. By 23rd July 2020, Kenya confirmed fifteen thousand cases and six thousand recoveries.  On 13th March, Kenya closed all her borders, suspended all forms of travelling and stringent restrictions such as social distancing, limited movement, social gatherings stopped and all schools and colleges were closed, among a raft of other measures.

With such a sudden turn of events, CHTEA quickly organized a meeting of the executive and deliberated on the way forward. One of the outcomes was that, working with government institutions would have to be mandatory since human trafficking was bound to take another form……more online and discrete movement of victims within the country.

In April 2020, CHTEA convened the first civil society sector virtual meeting to discuss the way forward in the context of the changed operating environment as informed by the Covid-19 restrictions. The meeting served as a platform for strategic thinking and focused leadership going forward. The meeting enabled the civil society sector players to prioritize actions and explore options for continued engagement even as the Covid-19 reality was dawning on everybody.

Significant Milestones


  1.  The year began with a major rescue operation of the Ugandan Karamoja girls dubbed phase 1. A total of 96 girls were rescued and repatriated to Uganda in January, 2020. The rescue operation involved civil society organizations from both Kenya and Uganda; while the two governments of Kenya and Uganda were heavily involved too. A major breakthrough to the operation was the arrest of one trafficker who was arraigned in a Kenyan court of law to face justice. The success of the first phase ushered in a Karamoja Girls’ Rescue, Phase 2 in June 2020. CHTEA continues to provide the civil society leadership on this front and coordinates the interface between the Kenyan and Ugandan civil society interventions. To this end, a joint task force was established consisting of representatives from both sides of the border and chaired by CHTEA. Other institutions involved from the Kenyan side include, the Candle of Hope Foundation, East African Child Rights Network and Stop the Traffik Kenya. On the Ugandan side institutions included ‘Make a Child Smile’, ‘Dwelling Places’ and the ‘Uganda Child Rights Network’. The government of Kenya through the Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Secretariat under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection provided the overall leadership while the Embassy of Uganda in Nairobi provided counterpart leadership on the Ugandan government side.


  1. The Lebanon evacuation/rescue of trafficked and trapped Kenyans was also a major breakthrough for CHTEA during the reporting period. Having received the first report of a trafficked Kenyan in early June, CHTEA mobilised civil society and religious networks both within and outside of Kenya as well as the government. As this was happening, a huge bomb blast ripped through Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon; further degenerating an already fragile economic situation in Lebanon. Through a coordinated effort with others, mostly outside of Kenya, including Talitha Kum in Rome, CHTEA played a key role in the rescue and repatriation of over 125 Kenyans from Lebanon. It was also possible to screen a majority of the returnees (most confirmed having been trafficked in the guise of good jobs and incomes). They were offered help in the form of psycho-social support mostly to address post-traumatic stress disorders, medical care and over 20 victims have since received start up financial support to begin income generating activities. CHTEA has been offering business advisory services monitoring and evaluation, as well as receiving periodic reports (narrative and pictorial) against each beneficiary. The needs clearly outstretched our available resources but remain hopeful that more donations will be received from well-wishers. Human trafficking cases continued to be received online mainly from Saudi Arabia. Victims ranged from those trafficked for work to others whose promise was to be taken to more lucrative locations such as Dubai, Qatar or Kuwait but ended up in Saudi Arabia. Even with the Covid-19 the Advisory Committee, the Anti Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit, the Transnational Organized Crime Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; among other government institutions.  During this reporting period, a total of 22 victims and 9 pre-victims were identified and rescued specifically related to Saudi Arabia alone. travel restrictions, CHTEA continued to work closely with the Counter Trafficking in Persons Secretariat,

B) Commemorating 30th July, “World Day of Counter Trafficking in Persons”

The United Nations set aside July 30th as the day to commemorate counter human trafficking or popularly known as the elimination of modern-day slavery around the world. During that day and with tightened restrictions related to Covid-19, CHTEA was able to achieve the following:

  1. Release of a special video documentary clip on the Karamoja Girls’ rescue phase1 via the Kenya Television Network (KTN) and circulated widely.
  2. A live morning TV show on KTN was aired with a panelist from CHTEA
  • A special feature was released by the People Daily newspaper which focused on the impact of Covid-19 to human trafficking.



CHTEA was involved and participated in a number of high-profile conferences and engagements through-out the year. Involvement and participation took different forms ranging from being a coconvener to making presentations.   Among the key conferences was the Santa Marta Group (SMG), a Catholic Church led institution (founded by Pope Francis) which brings together Bishops of the Catholic Church and Police Chiefs’ leadership to discuss matters of human trafficking.

SMG convened one conference in September where CHTEA presented a paper on the impact of Covid-19 on counter human trafficking efforts and in December, SMG-Kenya chapter co-hosted with CHTEA, a high-level conference for Kenya that brought together the government CTiP Secretariat, Judiciary, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations), religious institutions and the civil society. Key presenters were from government (Judiciary, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and CTIP Secretariat), the Muslim leadership, the Catholic leadership on SMG and the civil society. The SMG-Kenya conference set the joint agenda for 2021.


During the reporting period, CHTEA was able to successfully carry out the following trainings on counter human trafficking:

  1. On request from the “Association of the Sisterhoods of Kenya” (AOSK), CHTEA delivered a virtual training for 250 participants drawn from all over Kenya and beyond. Sr Mary O’Malley, MMM was the lead trainer, assisted by Mutuku Nguli.
  2. Trained a group of 15 young members of a Community Based Organisation called Streetwise from the Kamukunji location in Nairobi. The group has been monitoring the arrival and distribution of the trafficked Ugandan Karamoja girls in Nairobi among other surveillance actions. The training was done under strict observance of the Covid-19 protocols as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
  3. Jointly with the congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, CHTEA trained a total of 31 senior staff of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Refugees. The training drew participants from all the 25 Catholic Dioceses in Kenya. The method of training was virtual.
  4. CHTEA delivered a counter human trafficking presentation to a group of 40 diocesan priests who had gathered for their Annual General Meeting under the Commission on InterReligious Dialogue and Ecumenism in Nairobi. The priests were drawn from all over Kenya.
  5. CHTEA was influential in deploying training and community awareness materials in remote areas of Kenya. Two such events were captured through the Yarumal Missionaries at the Diocese of Maralal where grassroots women were sensitized on issues of human trafficking. A counter trafficking “Training Manual” designed by Sr Mary O’Malley, MMM was highly valued and became the main training material for women in these farflung remote villages. This was followed shortly by an expose of a human trafficking corridor from Moyale border in Ethiopia to Nairobi. The second event was the training and awareness activities carried out by a CHTEA trained graduate, Sr Anita of the Daughters of Charity at the West Pokot remote villages of Chepnyal.
  6. CHTEA convened a sizeable cross section of victims from the Middle East upon the request of a research conglomerate called KANTRA. The latter was running a baseline study to prepare for a major research in 2021 to determine the data which explains the reasons for potential practices of enslavement in the Gulf region.

E).Training Plan for 2021

During the same reporting period, CHTEA received requests for three categories of training to be implemented in 2021:

  1. A second level training for the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Coordinators from across all the 25 Dioceses. The training to include coordinators for refugees and migrants
  2. A senior training for the Judiciary (Judges and Magistrates), the Directorate of Public Prosecutions
  3. Training for members of the Law Society of Kenya
  4. Training for the Loreto Sisters – Kangemi project
  5.   A refresher training for Tanzania – The Platform
  6. Training the Media on the “Do No Harm” Principle reporting
  7. Community training for Hope Worldwide

F).Review of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act 2010

Kenya has used a 2010 Act of Parliament to deal with crimes related to human trafficking. The legislation has been used and tested for the last ten years. Following a consultative process, the CTIP Secretariat embarked on a review mission to address the gaps exhibited during the ten-year implementation period. CHTEA was contacted on the same and provided written feedback to the Government.

G).CHTEA as part of the Universal Peoples’ Right (UPR) process

The UPR process is a United Nations’ framework through which the Civil Society provides feedback alongside Government in respect of Trafficking in Persons actions in each country. In Kenya, the process is normally conducted consultatively and CHTEA has been acknowledged for her role in engaging with the process and contributing towards the final report for submission in Geneva, Switzerland.

H)The Tanzania Chapter

Since 2018 and following a comprehensive training of the stakeholders at MMM Faraja Centre,

Singida region in Tanzania, CHTEA instituted “Jukwaa la Kupambana na Ulanguzi wa Binadamu” (A Platform for Counter Human Trafficking). The platform brings together representatives from both government (national and local government) and non-governmental organisations including faith-based institutions. The platform’s Secretariat is based at the Faraja Center under the leadership of Sr Catherine O’Grady, MMM. During the reporting period, the platform received an elevated recognition from the government’s anti-trafficking in persons Secretariat in Dodoma; who went further and offered a more comprehensive induction and inclusion to national level engagement. The platform also continued to participate and engage with regional and continental conferences.

I)Partnership and Coordination

During 2020, CHTEA was able to work collaboratively and in partnership with other organizations to fulfil her mandate. In other instances, CHTEA offered overall coordination of specific events and activities. On the government front, CHTEA worked and continues to work very closely with the following institutions:

  1. Government: Counter Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, the Judiciary, the National Police Service including the Directorate of Criminal Investigations under whose portfolio AntiHuman Trafficking and Child Protection Unit and the Transnational Organized Crime Unit fall, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Immigration and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
  2. Foreign Governments: Embassy of Uganda in Nairobi, Regionally, CHTEA engaged with East Africa Community and African Union (AU) as well as IOM and UNODC.
  1. Non-Governmental Organizations: CHTEA worked closely with the following institutions:
  • The Santa Marta Group,
  • “Religious Against Human Trafficking” (RAHT)
  • Stop the Traffik Kenya,
  • East Africa Child Rights Network,
  • East African Civil Society Forum,
  • GiZ/BMM
  • The UPR process
  • African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN),
  • Candle of Hope Foundation
  • Law Society of Kenya,
  • Freedom Collaborative,
  • Liberty Shared,
  • Oxfam UK,
  • Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
  • Loreto Sisters,
  • Yarumal Missionaries,
  • MMM Faraja Center in Tanzania,
  • “Dwelling Places” (Uganda),
  • “Make A Child Smile” (Uganda),
  • Uganda Child Rights Network (Uganda),
  • Talitha Kum (Rome),
  • Caritas (Lebanon),
  • Media houses
  • Individual philanthropists among others.
  1. Key Statistics for CHTEA
2018 2019 2020
Workshops 1,600 628 *250
People reached through Awareness Raising 27, 721 17.064 7.250
Total number of staff (Team Trainer and Facilitator) 1 1 1
Community Volunteers 25 45 68
Victims rescued (broken down as below) 30 32 243
Victims Repatriated (mainly children from within Tanzanian and Ugandan border areas 18 15 98
Rescue and repatriation of victims from Saudi Arabia  12 17 16
Large in-flow of Victims from Lebanon due to bombing and other political and economic crises issues which deteriorated badly in 2020. 129

Workshops stopped in March due to Covid-19* 



Mr. F Mutuku Nguli, CEO 

25th January, 2021

Sr. Mary O’ Malley, MMM



Below is a pictorial presentation of some of the memorable moments during 2020 

Above: A group of Samburu women in Maralal undergoing human trafficking sensitisation session using illustrative books from CHTEA

Above Left:         Police Inspector Framwel and Constable Linda during a ToT training by CHTEA at Kangemi

Above Right:      Group photo of the Kangemi ToT.

Above Right:     Front row seated - Sr Laura, fdcc and Head of RAHT (with a vail), Sr Veronica, IBVM (seated at Laura’s left) and Sr Jackline, IBVM and head of project (seated at extreme left)