Christian and Muslim Reflection.

Muslims around the world have welcomed Ramadan (in March), a full month of fasting, increased worship, heightened charity, good deeds, and community life. Christians as well are also fasting during this Lenten period, (the 40-day period of penance and prayer) ahead of Easter, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The fast for both faiths help believers to purify their souls, renew their faith, seek forgiveness, and increase self-discipline within the tenets of our Supreme God. It is also a time to re-focus on what is most important and positive virtues in  believers’ lives.

However, even as we share and observe this holy season collectively, some of our fellow brothers and sisters who are/were victims of human trafficking still face challenges with reintegration due to stigma and the aftermath of abuse. Human trafficking (also known as Trafficking In Persons) is the trade of humans for forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the benefit of the trafficker. Everyone, particularly women and girls are at the risk of being victims of Human Trafficking.

Human trafficking, in any form is prohibited and condemned in both Christianity and Islam for the sole reason of violating human rights and the dignity of victims/survivors. 

CHTEA therefore makes a passionate call to action for both Christian and Muslim Faithfuls to rededicate themselves during this HOLY period, to take up the initiative of advocacy and speak up against any form of human trafficking and to support survivors of human trafficking as well as report any cases of human trafficking at their jurisdictions.

To report any cases of human trafficking in and/or outside of Kenya, you can reach out to us on or

Call any of the following numbers:

Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa (CHTEA) - +254701339204

Religious Against Human Trafficking (RAHT) - toll free 0800721361

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) – toll free 0800722203

Child Line – toll fee 116

Gender Based Violence - 1195

Forum for Women (FODDJ) +25411350768

Police 999 and 112

In case you are within the East African region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo), feel free to share any emergency reporting lines which exist in your own countries (State or Non-State) so that we can make them a permanent feature in our monthly newsletter for public use.

Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa (CHTEA) wishes you and your loved ones a happy and bountiful Easter and Ramadan Seasons ahead.


Amina’s Story-The Life After

Amina* was trafficked to Saudi in 2011 and fell out with her employer the same year after experiencing a lot of abuses such as physical assault, repeated rape ordeals, extreme overworking, and confiscation of her travel documents and mobile phone. Before leaving Kenya, Amina* had been promised a monthly salary of $250 but unfortunately, wasn't paid anything during the time she was working. The employer had a household of up to 10 members and most of them were grown-up men (either children or relatives). She was further forced to work at other apartments that they visited over the weekends at no pay.

Amina* hardly had time to rest. She worked for at least 18 hours a day hence, she became sick. The only medication given to her was painkillers and this did not help clear the infection. Her health deteriorated while she was being forced to work without a break or any proper treatment. She feared she would die if she did nothing about her situation.

 One early morning, when her bosses had left for work, Amina pretended to be going to throw waste at the garbage bin outside the gate. She then ran as fast as her legs could take her until she was intercepted by a police van which took her to a detention camp. At the camp, she was detained for three years incommunicado. Her case was eventually processed after a jail term and one evening, she was whisked to the airport and deported back to Kenya without any evidence to show that she had worked since leaving the country. She arrived in August 2021 and CHTEA received her at the office in October, of the same year.

 Amina* is a mother of four beautiful children (three boys and one girl). After her return, CHTEA supported Amina in settling down. At the shelter, she received psychosocial support sessions and was later assisted to set up an income-generating activity in Rift Valley for financial sustainability. Before getting on her feet CHTEA supported Amina * with the secondary education of the two older boys. 

Amina* now runs a small business, in Rift Valley as in the picture below and we are proud of her hard work and resilience.Amina* can now comfortably support her family.

Thank you for your generous and continued support. Your support  enables  us to restore lives and dignity for other victims of Human Trafficking like Amina * 

*Amina is not her real name

The enormity of crucifixion

Even without a second glance, the enormity of crucifixion was written large on her pale face.  My hands grew limp as I tried to make cursory notes on her story – it oozed with pain and heartache.  Even with long years of experience in this work nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of her pain.  Remembering her story later, I recalled that at 25 years old, I had just completed my Nursing finals in Ireland.  I knew we were poles apart, compared to her experience of life.  Yet I felt grateful that God drew me to walk closely with the most abused and degraded of these young women.  

‘Emily’ was facing enormous challenges back at home due to high levels of poverty in her family, so, she decided to seek ‘greener’ pastures in Nairobi. While working in a low-end hotel with a fellow tribe’s woman as her immediate boss, she was told that now she must also be available to give sex services to the men who frequented the hotel and bar on a 24/7 basis.  “Just imagine we were 7 girls on the night shift and only 3 working during the daylight hours.  Copious tears flowed down her pale cheeks as she told me that most clients came in the night hours and the majority wanted a girl to help them relax.  Emily knew she had no choice, but what was the way out?  She looked at me with a pleading look in her eyes and said: “it was Hell – pure hell, all the time” Just then a friend introduced her to an agent who offered her a promising job in Lebanon and working in a good environment.  She thought to herself ‘this is surely an answer to ‘my prayer’.  My mother “always encouraged me to be strong and get the best paying job I could find.” Emily knew that “if I could earn a better wage it would help her to raise school fees for her younger siblings”

Going up to Jerusalem

Nine times in the Gospels Jesus told his disciples “Now we are going up to Jerusalem” he knew that crucifixion and death awaited him there. These men (and women) who had pledged their lives to Jesus could never grasp that such a fate awaited him.  ‘Emily’ had all these elements of crucifixion await her in Beirut.   In the first brief employment period, she was extremely overworked (not less than a twenty-hour day).  The female boss had her work in her mother’s residence also – by all accounts she was a ruthless slave driver who forced Emily to eat from the plates she scraped for washing up but it was never enough.  She went on to tell me “my skirt was falling off me and even my periods stopped due to the extreme stress I was under” (I nodded in agreement).  Then she revealed to me what stressed her most was the ‘boss himself’ after going out to work in the morning with his wife, he would later return to the house and rape Emily.  This continued day-after-day-after-day, there seemed to be no end in sight.  As I reflected more on her situation, I thought of Jesus on his way to Calvary, did he feel ‘no end in sight also’?  This was surely his mental and physical state before the Roman soldiers enlisted the help of Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross.  They wanted to have the satisfaction of actually driving the nails into his hands and feet, then raise him high as a common criminal.  

The Dangerous Escape

She contacted her agent who advised her to escape. The agent did not offer her even one cent to recover.  She did this one morning when the garbage bin came to the gate. It was a very scary experience to find herself on the streets of Beirut – a young woman, black, with no security, money or passport.  Her sense of fear was heighted and then came the night when all manner of thugs were literally loose on the streets.  Her worst terrible nightmare was confounded following a gang rape.  She wandered into a supermarket and met a Kenyan lady who explained her own dilemma too, so they both went to sleep outside the Kenyan embassy.  This was not an ideal arrangement but she was happy to have companionship.  During the time she related her story, I thought to myself this can only be crucifixion.  

A Matter of Survival

Shortly afterwards, she was to discover that these Kenyan women who supported each other and had babies with Lebanese men were either raped or relieved each other to take turns in prostitution (to secure an income).  With this arrangement one of them usually stayed at home (in their one rented room) to take care of the babies.  A little later, Emily realized that she too was pregnant, she was completely gutted but also amazed by the manner in which these women supported each other in what was a very bleak outlook and probably the worst time in their lives. Emily was forced to consider many questions: should she arrive home with a Lebanese baby or arrive home and deliver her baby as a Kenyan citizen.  She choose the latter and broke the news gently to her mother who was very supportive.  She now enjoys the kind of support we offer to these woman.  With our WhatsApp support group (of over 300) they offer tremendous courage and understanding to each other.  They finally resurrect from the ashes of their experiences and go on to make the best use of their self-help efforts. 

At the outset of all the hurdles they have to face, we provide psychosocial and financial support and in any way we can help them to make a complete turnaround from despair to hope and the opportunity to get their lives back on track.  I asked one woman who had severe PTSD how she is feeling now? Her reply came quickly “now instead of hitting the children all the time, I find I am beginning to enjoy them” I knew then that Resurrection had entered her life despite all the pain endured in the days of crucifixion.

Mary O’ Malley, MMM

2nd April, 2023


Santa Marta Group- Africa Regional 2023 Conference on combating organ harvesting and trafficking.

The 2023 annual Santa Marta Group -Africa Regional conference was recently delivered through an online platform. The conference ran through 16th and 17th March. The theme for this year’s conference was, “Organ harvesting and trafficking; and its effects on the African Society”. 

Owing to the increased cases of organ harvesting and trafficking across the African continent, the theme resonated perfectly with the present time dynamics in the human trafficking context. In our previous editions of the newsletter, we ran various reports and stories about organ harvesting in various parts of Africa. Such stories included the Albino targeted killings (for organ removals) in parts of East and Southern Africa, the discrete movement of targeted organ harvesting victims to Europe from West Africa and the organ harvesting activities targeting African migrants in the Middle East.

Organ harvesting and trafficking is a form of modern slavery that refers to a range of criminal activities, including illegal organ harvesting from living or dead individuals and the unlawful sale and/or transplantation of human organs. Organ transplants are becoming increasingly commonplace. This is due to several reasons such as safer transplant procedures; better post-transplant management among others. 

However, this increasing demand is not matched by a similar surge in supply. Consequently, through desperation, many sick individuals are turning to the black market to source their organs, facilitating a hotbed of criminal activity. Forced organ harvesting is a dangerous and illegal practice globally.

 The SMG-Africa Regional conference aimed to address the following:

  1. Understand the dynamics and raise awareness on Organ Trafficking and Organ harvesting as a form of Human trafficking 
  2. Recognize the diplomatic community's role in addressing victims' needs. 
  3. Increase engagement with all partners to mitigate human trafficking and smuggling.

To achieve the conference objectives, the following were some of the conference outcomes:

  1. The SMG-Africa will work with other institutions, such as the government, the media, and Counter Human Trafficking organizations to intensify awareness and capacity-building on skills to counter the dynamic tactics of traffickers
  2. SMG-Africa to hold campaigns to call governments to implement conventions to end slavery and append their signatures and ratify international instruments and treaties.
  3. SMG-Africa to engage in  law-making process at all levels that will enact laws to protect victims and ensure prosecution for offenders. A need to lay hefty penalties for agents of Human Trafficking
  4. SMG-Africa to encourage Catholic Social Teaching through pastoral orientations to empower agents and restore the ethical principle of organ donation as a genuine testament of charity and love received in gratitude.
  5. SMG-Africa to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to champion for counter Human Trafficking teachings to be integrated into the curriculum of the learning institutions, especially beginning with Catholic-sponsored institutions.

On the heels of the conference, the UK media report the case of Nigerian Senator and his accomplices who were found guilty of trafficking a 21-year-old street trader to the UK to provide a kidney for the Senator’s daughter. This is just one of the many cases that came to light thanks to the keen medics who worked closely with the victim to unearth the matter and give it to the UK police. This scenario, therefore, underpins the need for collaborative support from different stakeholders to combat organ trafficking and organ harvesting and save lives as well as cut the business feed to the merchants of doom.

You can view the media report below