Survivor Story: Saved by a whisker.

It is 8.00am in the morning, Elima greets her friend as she hurries to open her small cereal/Mpesa and Equity Bank Agent shop. She is excited about today and hopeful that it will be a successful day. On a day like this, Elima remembers vividly after completing her secondary school exams, she received a sponsorship to a university in Uganda, it went well and she graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Commerce. She was joyous about her graduation, being the first girl in a village to go to university and successfully complete a degree course. She saw herself working as an accountant in a reputable organization in the future.

Life with its endless ups and downs did not go as she expected. She landed her first job as an Mpesa agent (where one can deposit and withdraw cash). Sadly, every day the owner would come at lunchtime, close the shop and lock her inside where he would sexually and physically assault her. She put up a lot of resistance and was very scared and hated him for the actions. She left after five months of absolute hell and she returned home. She found her mother supportive but she had no job after such a long struggle to gain her degree in a foreign country.

One day, a lady who was known by the family to trade between Kenya and Uganda told her of  wonderful job opportunities in Uganda. She claimed that she knew a certain hotel owner in Kampala who needed an accounts clerk. Elima fell for such a ‘golden chance’ and had no problem in agreeing to travel to Uganda. But she found herself as one of the ten girls who covered in a bar-restaurant 24/7. The hotel was also a major attraction for men who wanted ladies for sex services at any hour of the day or night. Elima and the other girls, were issued with contraceptives every morning. Elima says, “I was in this horrible, horrible place for 6 months, the only food they gave us was one meal daily.” At this stage she was in tears and her eyes were red.

One Morning, just days before Christmas in 2022, a man from her home area visited the eatery and on seeing her, he exclaimed, “My God, Elima, what are you doing here?” It was easily assumed that he was her client. But he had come in to have breakfast. After a brief conversation, he gave her his car keys and told her the registration of his vehicle and where to find it in the parking lot. In a matter of hours, they were crossing the international border into Kenya. He never harmed her in any way and he dropped her at her parents’ home. Since she had returned without any money, she coined a story that she had been robbed on the way back home. The parents accepted her story.

In early January, 2023, she travelled to Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Nairobi (where her aunt works with the MMM’s). while there, she met one of the CHTEA Trainer of Trainers (ToTs) doing an Awareness workshop and he referred her to CHTEA.

Elima had good ideas about starting a small business but she lacked capital. While at CHTEA, Sr.Mary recalls that, “I felt she was genuine and took a chance to offer her with a budgetary amount of Ksh.15000/-. Ordinarily, some of the victims of trafficking come with various needs such as medical and counselling which require much more money.” From the small capital offered, Elima has now a thriving business of retailing eggs from her home location and she also sells a variety of dried beans as well as an Mpesa and Equity Bank agent business.

*Elima is not her name

Five Kenyans stuck in Malaysia.


The high cost of living coupled with high inflation and together with the high rate of unemployment, has pushed many young people to leave the country seeking ‘greener pastures’ as a way to financially support their family members.  Most times ‘green pastures’ are not so green as they are assumed to be. Many young Kenyan men and women find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.  Sadly, when they go abroad through agents, they are most often rogues/criminal syndicates who promise them endless perks and opportunities once they arrive at the destination countries.

Tragedy in a foreign land

Sadly, this was the case for five Kenyans- Four gentlemen and one lady-  who travelled to Malaysia to work as office assistants/receptionists in early January, 2023 through the Bemoliz and Talent Quest Africa agencies. They were promised good paying jobs with a salary Ksh. 60,000/- (equivalent to USD 460) per month, working for eight hours daily. Upon arrival in Malaysia, things were not as they expected. Instead they worked for twelve hours a day at J&T cargo, with no food and no payment for four months. Their living conditions were unbearable, they used to sleep on waste cartons on a cold floor and they begged for food from well-wishers.

Upon asking for their salary, they were met with a rude shock and dumbfounded when their boss told them that he had bought them at Ksh. 160,000/ equivalent to USD 1.230 per person to get them to Malaysia. They were promised to get work permits in Malaysia on arrival, since they used travel visas to get to Malaysia.  However, it proved impossible for them to get any help from the authorities.

After endless hassle with the J & T cargo management concerning their salaries, they were chased away from the company with no pay. They ended up seeking for shelter in unfinished construction sites and begging for food to survive. They reached out to the Kenyan embassy in Malaysia for help who advised them to raise money for their air tickets back to Kenya. CHTEA in collaboration with other partners are working around the clock to get sponsors for their tickets. CHTEA is currently offering online counselling services to the victims.

Above: inhuman living conditions, cartons on cold floors serving as beddings (shared by victims)

Appeal for tickets

They shared their story with CHTEA during an exclusive interview. The news reached the Kenyan government who directed the embassy to take them to Kuala Lumpur where they have been staying for about two months as they continue to wait for tickets. Their families have not been able to raise the fees. They are humbly seeking for well-wishers for help them raise the overstay fees and air tickets to get back home.

Anyone willing to support with tickets, kindly get in touch with CHTEA through telephone number +254 701 339 204 or email

Alliance 8.7 Partners annual review meeting report.

Partners posing for a picture in the meeting.

On 4th October, Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa (CHTEA) (represented by Ms Precious Musyoki) joined other civil society organisations Religious Against Human Trafficking [RAHT], Free the Slaves, the Salvation Army, Footprint of hope and Jafari Jata Solution in a meeting convened by Free The Slaves to review the Alliance 8.7 commitments.

The discussion on Alliance 8.7 revolved around evaluating the progress made in the past year towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 – eradicating forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labor. Partners shared their respective initiatives and programs, emphasizing the need for increased coordination and innovative strategies.

Some of the key points discussed included:

  1. Sharing best practices in survivor rehabilitation and reintegration.
  2. Advantages of joining the alliance as a country or as an organization.
  3. Enhancing awareness campaigns to prevent trafficking and exploitation.

The 2nd agenda for the day was Survivor engagement, it took center stage, highlighting the importance of survivor voices in shaping effective anti-trafficking interventions. Partners shared their success stories and challenges faced in empowering survivors. The key highlights included:

  1. Providing comprehensive support services, including counseling, education, and skills’ development.
  2. Ensuring survivor data confidentiality and security.
    Partners during discussions at the meeting

Later on, partners presented their annual reports, detailing their achievements, challenges, and future plans. The reports highlighted:

  1. An increase in number of rescued victims and successful prosecutions.
  2. Challenges faced, such as limited financial and human resources and the evolving nature of human trafficking methods.
  3. The need for collaborative efforts with local authorities, NGOs, and international organizations.

The meeting was then concluded with a brainstorming session to outline actionable steps based on the discussions. The following were agreed upon:

  1. Forming of task forces to focus on specific aspects of Alliance 8.7 goals to ensure targeted efforts.
  2. Establishing a survivor-led advisory programs and policies.
  3. Organizing joint training sessions for law enforcement officers, social workers, and legal professionals to enhance their skills and knowledge on Trafficking In Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.
  4. Expressed the need for framework to avoid double-recording of the survivors in different organizations to achieve optimal use of the limited resources.

The meeting concluded on a positive note, with partners expressing their commitment to intensify efforts in the following year. The exchange of ideas and experiences during the meeting reinforced the importance of collaboration in addressing the multifaceted issue of trafficking and exploitation. The next meeting was scheduled for November where the dates will be communicated on a later date.

Kenya Launches GCM implementation Plan for Better Migration Governance.

Above left to right: Ms Sharon (IOM Kenya), EU Delegation Representative, Ms. Pope (DG of IOM),Government of Kenya representative, Ms Evelyn (DG, Migration) and Mr Stephen (UN Coordinator) during the launch

On 13th October 2023, the Government of Kenya renewed its commitment to better migration management by launching its implementation plan for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). In doing so, Kenya become the first country in the world to develop a GCM implementation plan using guidance developed by the UN Network on Migration.

Crowning the occasion was the new Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Coordinator of the Network, Ms. Amy Pope, alongside government officials, UN representatives and civil society organizations. CHTEA was also represented at the launch by the CEO.

"If we are truly to confront the challenges of the day and certainly the challenges of tomorrow, it is critical that we bring together well-managed migration policies," said Ms. Pope.

“The Global Compact for Migration gives us a roadmap to make migration work and Kenya is the first country to turn it into a national implementation plan and to do so, working with the UN Network on Migration," said Ms. Pope.

Kenya’s 2023-2027 National GCM Implementation Plan translates commitments into action by highlighting key actions to fast track realizing the GCM in the country. It encompasses five thematic areas: promoting fact-based and data-driven policy and planning; addressing the drivers of migration; facilitating regular migration, decent work, and enhancing the positive development effects of human mobility; addressing irregular migration and, improving the social inclusion and integration of migrants.

"The Government of Kenya is taking bold steps towards a sustainable future, one that embraces the opportunities and challenges of migration," said Ambassador Julius Bitok, Principal Secretary for Immigration and Citizens Services, in a video recorded for the launch.

“The National Implementation Plan reflects Kenya’s commitments to making migration more safe, orderly and regular. One key challenge is the lack of a framework for comprehensive migration governance at the national level. This Plan aims to mainstream migration into national development planning, aligning it with national, regional and global aspirations."

The UN Network on Migration was established to help Member States implement the GCM and promote partnerships towards achieving the Compact’s goals. To this end, the Network developed a six-step guidance to help governments and other stakeholders elaborate their own national strategies.

“This implementation plan is not merely a document; it is a beacon, aiming to maximize the development contributions of and with migrants,” said Dr. Stephen Jackson, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya.

"It represents a comprehensive approach to migration, encapsulating a wide array of GCM interventions that mirror the diverse nature of Kenya's migration context," he added.

As a GCM Champion country and the first to practically apply the Network’s guidance in preparing a validated National GCM Implementation Plan, Kenya is leading the way in implementing the Compact. This support was made possible with assistance from the Building Migration Partnerships programme, funded by the European Union.

Source: UN Migration Network