This is an area of very serious concern to us, and we propose to delve deeper into this phenomenon in subsequent issues of our Newsletter.  At the height of the Covid 19 crises in Italy, the Pornhub were sending free premium subscriptions throughout the pandemic time.  Now they have extended this offer to the rest of the globe.  The move comes amid efforts from authorities around the world to stop the spread of Covid 19 as people are encouraged to stay home in self isolation and home-schooling.

Pornography is a form of violence against women and a means of promoting misconceptions of gender, human worth and dignity.  Prostitution is closely allied to pornography, it cheapens human sexuality and furthers a culture in which people are bought and sold.  It is not a victimless crime.  The real victim is our self-worth and our ability to genuinely value others.  Pornography thrives in a sexualised commercial culture and no society is immune to the messages given about human worth and dignity.

The Drivers of Demand

These are all the major drivers of Demand and millions of young women and children are its victims – the age gets younger and younger with a preference for the pre-pubertal child.  Coupled with this demand is the free availability of pornography on all online sites – in my own research, I found that it is currently being accessed by children as young as 7 years old, the peak is at 11 years old.

The Physical & Emotional Toll

In youths exposed to porn sites it is a growing process and they become bonded to it very quickly.  It is in effect one of the most serious addictions of our age, although this is never seriously discussed or seen as an issue like we view drugs and alcoholic addiction.  In young adulthood there is a combination of greed and lust, even with intense psychotherapy these images can never be deleted from the mind.  It is almost as if these images are inscribed on the frontal lobe of the brain and for the person addicted to porn these images flash across the mind at any future sexual encounters.  Addicted person may have such a serious absorption in porn that all other concerns of life, careers, studies and job are lost not to mention the loss of family when spouses come to realize they were in fact married to some kind of ‘weird person’

According to the author Gail Dines “Pornland” there are 20,000 new Porn images posted on the net each week.  Each image of children viewed in porn sites means a REAL child has been abused in this grotesque manner, it is possible even to hear the cries and screams of a child being abused. This ought to stir our minds and set new standards for our children – for them and for our generations, yet to come.

Pornhub Destroys

Porn on tap is the last thing we need in any country of the world let alone in our country. Yet sadly during this time of Covid-19, opportunistic marketers at Pornhub are trying to push increased usage as people are indoors finding themselves desperately looking for entertainment options.

Let’s draw a line in the sand TODAY and send the message to Pornhub that enough is enough. Their soul-destroying content is not welcome in our country.

Kindly click the link below to read more; READ MORE HERE

(We will continue to offer further reflections on this topic in our next issue)

2nd CHT-EA Newsletter

Dear Friends,

‘With Our Hearts Burning we Journey’ I found these words in a small prayer card and it seemed to sum up what I wish to share with you.  For me it’s exactly what seems pertinent to our current state of the world and each of us in our own little world too.  On our life’s journey in early 2020 we are all affected by what we could never have imagined possible – we are propelled through the journey of Covid 19 pandemic.  Like it or not there is a deadly virus around and a highly contagious one too.  At the workplace it has highly impacted on people’s lives, thousands, even millions are suddenly out of work and nobody was prepared for this sudden change.  It also seems to hold a link to the following: I quote below from “Singing to the Dead”

God is not a fairy godmother and hope is not a belief in happy endings.  It is a willingness to accept the human journey; complete with its dangers, its equal potential for happiness or disaster.  And this is what I take with me; courage for the journey.  A willingness to take the risks most likely to bring life, to walk the unknown and dangerous road in search of joy, even though we can see from where we stand that this is the road through fire.  There is no other road, no such thing as safety.  None.  Certainly our hearts are not safe.  Not so long as we love, not as long as we remain vulnerable to the painful possibility of hope.  And the only consolation is, if we are not safe we are not alone.  In the end, in a world as small as this one, we all carry one another’s future in our hands

“Singing to the Dead” by Victoria Armour-Hileman.  Page 257

In the work we do in Counter Human Trafficking we take very seriously the thrust to carry another’s future in our hands.  Currently, we are carrying the story of a Kenyan woman who is in Lebanon since 2012 – it is a long story and this is only detail we can share with you now as we do not wish to jeopardise the ‘difficult paths’ we are using for her safe release and passage back home.  In such situations we rely only on the Power of Prayer.

Ethiopian Youths

We are seeing that even though the pandemic is so endemic in all our countries here in East Central Africa the same deadly story of Human Trafficking is painfully played out.  Traffickers devise new tricks all the time – so we rely strongly on the support you can give us.  Just last week we learned that people are taking others as ‘flesh’ to sell.  At this moment we are also working on the case of 18 energetic, able bodied Ethiopian youths with high hopes and a willingness to help their families to rise out of extreme poverty. But instead found themselves locked into one room in a Nairobi slum.  For days on end they pondered their fate.  With a meagre diet of two slices of bread and water only morning and evening they worried what impact it will have on their health.

Eventually, a few of them escaped and fortunately met one of our most committed Human Rights Defenders.  She made all the right connections and through us, hopefully, the Transnational Crime Detectives may crack the leads we have given them to ‘out’ a deadly trafficker who specialises in trading these youths.   He sells them on as Slaves to become the property of another who will guard them with shackles.  Not surprisingly, this is our Vision “A world free from the shackles of Human Exploitation and the prosecution of every woman or man who dares to take up this evil task to the detriment of the most vulnerable in our society”  (CHTEA Vision Statement)

“Hope is not a Belief in Happy Endings”  (How ‘Alice’ Coped).

We have to hold onto Hope despite the ‘worst case scenarios’ which come to us daily.  Let me introduce you to ‘Alice’  When I met her for the first time she said in the course of our conversation “I am still young, 25 years old” I smiled and she went on to say: after Form/4, I received a scholarship to Kampala and graduated with a B Comm, then I proudly came home at Christmas.  In the New Year, a lady at our parish (who runs a business between Nairobi and Kampala), told me of a friend who owns a hotel in Kampala.  She explained that he needs an accountant who would be his ‘third eye’ on the local (Ugandan) staff.

But it turned out we were 9 young women aged 16 – 23 years old, engaged in bar work and sex favours.  There were 7 of us in the night shift alone.  Then in an explosion of tears she said “clients could come any hour of the day or night” I knew the wound was deep in her soul.  Alice made her escape by a miracle.  Early one morning a Kenyan man came in for breakfast, he was completely shocked to see her behind the bar.   Briefly, he handed his car keys to Alice saying where it was parked outside.  In two hours they were over the border, he dropped her at her parents’ home.   She had to concoct a story that she was robbed in Kampala.

We journeyed with ‘Alice’ through counselling, provision of shelter and a means of income.  Today, she runs her own shop and ATMs for 2 local banks.  She has reached the point where she is able to share her story and is particularly good with youth and senior primary level.  Of ‘Alice’ I can certainly say that she, more than any other person I know took “courage for the journey” (“Singing for the Dead”).

Survivors of Human Trafficking.

We carry hundreds of victims of HT or as I prefer to call them Survivors – the dictionary describes them as ‘extraordinary people who carry and overcome extreme difficulties in their lives’ these are people I have come to know over the years in working Against Human Trafficking.  But Covid 19 took another toll on them which presented with difficulties which were far from easy.  We had set them up with resources to be self-sufficient in caring for their family’s needs but with the sudden drop in the economic situation the majority of them were unable to cope in meeting daily needs.  The approach we took to boost their incomes was to add a supplementary item/s to what they were already doing.  The addition of selling sweets, sodas and/or cigarettes can enable them to supplement their income to a fairly normal level.




The Transit Passenger

Just picture a Tanzanian woman who has travelled from the most remote village of her country close to Lake Victoria who after four long days and nights of transport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, finds herself within the long, endless, ‘dizzying’ corridors of JKIA.  She has not tasted a bite of food since she said ‘Kwaheri’ (goodbye) to her loving family.  ‘Amina’ simply goes berserk and starts running around in circles as if in a delirious trance and nobody can pacify her.  By a stroke of luck, a Sr ‘Breda’ who is very familiar with Human Trafficking (HT) observes all that is going on.  She goes to ‘Amina’ and speaks very calmly to her in Kiswahili.  ‘B’ also consults with a police lady on duty at the airport who confirms that ‘Yes, this woman is indeed a trafficked person’ Not only that but her transport has taken the passengers through a ‘Panya’ route, it literally means the place where the rats run (unapproved route).   So, she is also illegally in Kenya.

‘Amina’ is a 25 year old woman highly traumatised and severely dehydrated.  She has left her 4 and 2 year old children with her mother and they wait patiently for the millions of Tanzanian shillings (currency) she will carry home. Sr Brenda and Sr. Mary, MMM/CHTEA, devoted the rest of that day to her welfare – it took the form of debriefing, copious fluids and tasty refreshments, her travel and family and what her next plans might be?  She was absolutely adamant that she would travel home immediately.  She was given the equivalent of £Stg 40.00 and a personal phone (minus sim card) then she was sent way in a luxury coach to Dar es Salaam.  Fortunately, she had a safe journey and called back as she was about to board a bus to her home close to the Ugandan border.

Surrogate Motherhood

The ‘faces and twists’ of Human Trafficking (HT) never cease to amaze. Surrogate motherhood stands out as one highly unethical and criminal activity. Desperate women in slums are willing to undergo a high risk pregnancy for monetary gain.  The procedure is a very shady deal and the money promised never comes true.  Out of desperation and ignorance, they sign consent for all that will play out in the coming months. A medical doctor cum trafficker will inject her with a high dose of oestrogen hormone to effect an ovulation.  Within some hours, she will be artificially inseminated using specimens of Qatari males.

Waiting in a cramped ‘holding house’ with minimal food, this will be the longest nine months of her life. She must undergo a mandatory Caesarean Section (CS) at a high cost hospital outside of Nairobi where victim is flown by air for the CS.  The details and travel documents of the baby are all prepared in advance of its birth.   The mother is heavily sedated and will never see her child.  S/he will have passed through the International airport and arrived in Qatar by the time she starts asking questions like ‘where is my baby’?  She is lucky if she receives even one third of the agreed sum of money to ‘achieve her dreams.’ “Oh well, there was xyz new drugs we had to buy” etc. etc.  After ten days she is escorted to a bus back to Nairobi.  Since she signed for indemnity, any complications – immediate or later ones which may arise in the future is solely her problem.  CHTEA staff has met and witnessed all their complications too.  The age range was 15 – 42 years old – both are in the high risk category for having a baby.  In a two month period, CHTEA managed to rescue 8 of the 13 mothers in waiting.

On arrival, these infants have DNA testing done to insure that the child has Qatari parentage?  If not, it will be returned to Nairobi and the trafficker doctor will sell it to a childless couple for a sum of between 2 – 5 Million KShs (equivalent to $20,000 – $50,000).  What of the ones who have a Qatari father??  Some of CHTEA’s participants in workshops figured out that maybe these children will be raised to become slaves from childhood.  But the reality is as different as it is ‘chilling’. In a study done in Ireland on neonatal transplants 2011 – 2018, in that 8 year period, only 36 transplants were carried out. Writing in the IMJ, the lead researcher commented that “neonatal organ donations are rare” So this doctor trafficker can ‘mass produce’ Kenyan babies for organ retrieval.  Having one Qatari parent means that the tissue compatibility is almost one hundred per cent guaranteed.

This is taking place right here in the Capital city of Nairobi and at the Coastal city of Mombasa. It is a highly lucrative enterprise and all carried out strictly under the radar away from the media.  Yet the hospital where these unethical and criminal operations are carried out is owned by a person of high standing in the Kenyan political class!


Human Trafficking: The Abused Boys of Ethiopia

The Religious Against Human Trafficking (RAHT) at their monthly meeting convened at the Dream Center, Langata road on 16th February 2019, commissioned a small team to delve into the intricate web of human trafficking involving underage children (mainly boys) from Ethiopia at the Kyamaiko goat slaughter houses in Huruma, East of Nairobi. The boys are engaged in child labour.
The team comprised of Fr. Jairo Albert, Yarumal Missionaries, Sister Maria Marilena, Missionaries of the Foucauld (MDF) and Mr, George Matheka, Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa (CHTEA). The three also co-opted Mr. Mutuku Nguli, CHTEA. The team met once for a planning session at the Missionary Sisters of the Foucauld – out-reach Centre at the Mathare slums. The meeting resolved to visit the Kyamaiko slaughter houses on 27th February 2019 and CHTEA offered to bring on board a local community mobiliser who would serve as a guide.
During the same meeting, Fr. Jairo disclosed that he had contacted Bishop Virgilio Pante, Diocese of Maralal who is the current Chair to the Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Seafarers at the KCCB. The Bishop had indicated that he wished to provide a platform for RAHT to present the Kyamaiko case at the KCCB meeting due in April 2019…if enough evidence was forthcoming. Sr Marilena offered to offer prayers for the mission – as their contribution. Thank you.
The Mission
The ground mobiliser advised the team to arrive at Kyamaiko between 5.00am – 5.30am as most under age boys are most active during those hours at all slaughter houses – leading the goats to the slaughter houses, washing the inner organs (bowels) of slaughtered goats and sheep, carrying bought meat to load in to clients’ cars and attending to any other chores.
The team consisting Fr. Jairo Albert, Mr George Matheka and Mr Mutuku Nguli arrived at the Kyamaiko centre at exactly 5.30am and waited for Rahma, the CHTEA community mobiliser for about 25 minutes. Rahma is a Borana Muslim lady whose parents originated from Moyale Kenya. She was brought up at Kyamaiko since the age of ten. She grew up to challenge the human rights abuses practiced by her community. Moyale County, where the Borana community hails from is found on both sides of the Kenya-Ethiopia border. The Ethiopian side (which is highly impoverished) is the key supply of the underage boys at Kyamaiko.
Poor families on the Ethiopian side normally give out their young boys and girls, aged between 9 – 14 years to “relatives/guardians” who are in livestock business (mainly goats and sheep) with a promise to educate and offer employment in Kenya. Most of these business people buy and transport livestock from the Moyale Kenya border to Nairobi using lorries. The lorries are normally partitioned into two compartments; the upper and lower. The upper part of the lorry carries livestock while the lower part carries human beings (trafficked boys, girls and even young men illegally migrating to Nairobi and other destinations) and illegal small arms and light weapons. All this cargo is delivered to a ready market in Nairobi.

While the police and the local administration are well aware about this illegal business which is disguised in livestock trade, all police road blocks from Moyale to Nairobi operate using a coded language of “mbuzi” (a Kiswahili word for goats). In this context, “mbuzi” normally refers to human heads (trafficked children). The declaration of the exact number of “mbuzi’s” at all police road checks pre-determines the

amount of money paid for passage. Key human trafficking brokers based in Nairobi, facilitate the financial payments to all key police points up until Nairobi’s Huruma Police post; where all cargo is normally delivered at the wee hours of the morning.

Once these children arrive in Nairobi, the disguised “relatives, guardians or custodians” take over and hand them over to their new masters for immediate duty allocation within the sprawling Kyamaiko area. The boys are normally handed over to butchers who assign them duty stations and put them to sleep in the same sheds as the goats (an arrangement similar to the lorry compartments). The boys are forced to wake up as early as 1am and sleep as late as 11am at night depending on each day’s business. While the boys are entitled to between Ksh 1,300 and Ksh 1,500 per day, the broker receives Ksh 1,000 per day and the boy keeps the balance. If the boy falls sick, no one is responsible and sometimes, some of the boys get lost in the sprawling slum – possibly get killed at times or get abducted or even run away to escape mistreatment. Even so, no one seeks to know their whereabouts hence, the boys are on their own as soon as they land in Nairobi, except for the forced labour. After some months or years, they group themselves together into 10’s and get themselves a single room where they share and sleep in shifts as they eke for food and rent. Most rooms go for between Ksh 2,500 – Ksh 4,500. The boys never get to see a classroom.

While the boys engage in child labor at the slaughter houses, the few girls who arrive at Kyamaiko are normally placed as house-helps – as suitors are sought to marry them off. Most of these girls marry at very tender ages and mostly to old men. They remain with little choice since they are far from home and their disguised guardians do not entertain any objection.

Facts on the ground

When the RAHT team visited the ground, they witnessed tens of lorries which had arrived in the very early hours of the morning and had already offloaded their cargo. The team further witnessed hundreds of newly arrived sheep and goats next to the lorries. Rahma (our guide), explained that there is normally a team ready to receive the lorries. Alongside the livestock and human cargo offloaded, some sheep or goat carcasses are also reported to be found….however, these are not ordinary carcass as they normally are highly secured and guarded. Rahma was able to disclose that these carcasses are the carrying pockets for illegal arms and light weapons. The carcasses are eventually picked separately for disguised disposal but they get delivered to their owners, mainly at Eastleigh.

On another side of this expansive market, the RAHT team witnessed first-hand business of the slaughter houses. The team counted ten or more slaughter houses next to each other. They were all very busy skinning the animals as others embarked on selling and distribution of the meat to the clients. The team was informed that the Kyamaiko market alone slaughters over 2,000 goats daily. The meat is supplied all over Kenya while some was said to be exported to the Middle East (although we could not confirm these reports).

In each butchery and on the sidelines, the team witnessed the underage boys doing different things – some were playing video games with their phones in groups; supposedly as they waited for their turns in the butcheries, others were selling meat left-overs next to the butcheries, a majority of the youngest were at the backyards of each butchery cleaning the bowels and preparing them for the clients. A majority of these boys had poor or no Kiswahili language skills at all – a testimony that they were new arrivals. All these boys hardly ever get a chance to travel back home; some for the rest of their lives while others may take about 10 – 20 years before venturing out since they lack proper papers and documentation.

Government: The Sad Reality

During a separate interview with Rahma, the community mobiliser and a member of the Mathare Social Justice Network, the RAHT team enquired to know why this abhorrent practice had not been stopped by the government institutions. Rahma was quite categorical in her response: “the police and the area chief are heavily involved. Kyamaiko is a cash cow for all police and provincial administration bosses in Nairobi”, she added. All the boys and girls who arrive without documents are easily facilitated through bribes and extortion. Identification documents are normally processed through the area chief and a raft of middle men and women. The Kenyan Borana community members based at Kyamaiko normally collude to stand in as the relatives of the undocumented boys and girls in order for the papers to be prepared for the children.

The other disturbing trend has to do with the security agencies. There exists a sustained and regular financial contribution towards the police bosses within the County of Nairobi. Previously, raids have been carried out, boys arrested and taken to the Huruma police post. Before the end of day, all of them troupe back to their locations of work. Their “masters” (those who disguise as guardians for profit) collect money and give to the head of the police station. This is said to happen at will in order to raise funds for the local police boss. According to Rahma, every police boss posted to Huruma police post eventually leaves with massive wealth as exemplified by new cars bought while at the station and a host of other investments which the community is all aware about – all earned from the human trade of these young boys.

According to Rahma, “the human trafficking reality at Kyamaiko is not a secret anymore to anyone in Government. Newly posted Government officials (police and provincial administration) normally receive hand over notes of the highly lucrative business from their predecessors and this happens across the ranks”.

In the above context therefore, it is evident that the best advocacy intervention lies with the Government itself – both in Nairobi and from the point of dispatch in Moyale, Kenya. This matter requires the attention of the highest office on the land – the President and the Minister for Interior and Coordination of National Government. A structured meeting would be ideal and RAHT is prepared to prepare a video clip to support the existence of Human Trafficking at the Kyamaiko slaughter area.

Counter Human Trafficking trust Newsletter Launch

Dear Readers,

Karibuni sana (very Welcome) to the Launch of our First Newsletter.  This comes to you at a very critical time for our world and all our countries, none more so than in Africa.  In Kenya we will share with you how Covid-19 is affecting us and in particular how it is impacting on the victims of human trafficking.
The advent of Covid-19 (other-wise called Corona virus) has ushered in an unprecedented situation in Kenya and around the world since the beginning of 2020. With thousands initially; and now millions reported infected by the virus around the globe, many States effected restrictions of both movement and interaction at all levels of social life.

But first we must update you on the long journey we have come since I first held Awareness talks for our Health Volunteers in MMM, Mukuru kwa Njenga – a large informal settlement on the East side of Nairobi, in 2006.  Literally we were born in the slums.  Sadly these slums are the main ‘hunting ground’ for traffickers as they seek to lure the most impoverished and desperate young people in our society.  This work particularly in slums continued for a number of years before the Kenyan Government even held preliminary talks on Human Trafficking (HT).  Eventually, in October, 2010, the Act was signed into Law.

First Training of Trainers

In August, 2010 we held our first “Training of Trainers” (ToT) in order to increase the capacity of people reached through these newly trained ToTs.  There was an instant peak in Workshops given and it was a very satisfying breakthrough. In the intervening years I worked in co-founding a number of organisations to Counter HT. It included one for Youth, an NGO, Religious Women & Men, my own Congregation, Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM) and most notably now we registered “Counter Human Trafficking Trust – East Africa” (CHTEA) in August, 2018.

Talitha Kum Training

Having co-founded “Religious Against Human Trafficking” (RAHT) in 2016 we knew this would eventually lead to our taking RAHT beyond Nairobi to the dioceses and counties of Kenya.  RAHT is composed of male & female Religious so, we saw it wise to ‘insert’ ourselves under the ‘umbrella’ of the “Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya” (AOSK) and the “Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya” (RSCK).  CHTEA is a valued member of RAHT since 2018 and CHTEA staff have been co-opted in to a number of working task groups.

In July 2019, RAHT an affiliate of Talitha Kum, the world body of Religious against Human Trafficking organised a regional (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Italy) Training of Trainers’ workshop in Nairobi. CHTEA was involved in the preparations and the eventual workshop delivery through presentations and rapporteur services. The training was headed by the Co-ordinator of Talitha Kum, Rome office, Sr Gabriella Botelli. This was a major milestone in the development of RAHT and it raised CHTEA’s profile ahead of other conferences of religious and non-religious within the East-Central African Region.

The Santa Marta Conference.

“Santa Marta Group” is an alliance of international police chiefs and bishops from around the world working together with civil society in a process endorsed by Pope Francis, to eradicate human trafficking and modern day slavery. The Pope describes trafficking as “an open wound on the body of contemporary society”. The group was formed in April 2014 and was literally instigated by Pope Francis himself.  The group commenced annual conferences to consolidate efforts on counter HT in different regions of the world

This very dedicated body held their Second Regional Conference for Africa, in Nairobi 1 – 3 October, 2019.  Both Francis Mutuku Nguli (CEO, CHTEA) and I gave a presentation on that occasion.  The theme of our presentation was “New and emerging issues in Human Trafficking”  We focused on a number of them but the one which drew most interest was “Surrogate motherhood”  We will explore this further with you in the stories we present in this Newsletter.

MMM East Central Africa CHT Conference.

Last year I came up with the idea of holding a 4-day Training Conference on Counter Human Trafficking for the members of my own Congregation: Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM) in East Central Africa from 19th – 24th April, 2020.  This has received tremendous support from the entire leadership of MMM.  I began preparations well ahead of time and everything was in place even to my own ‘closing speech’ at the final Mass when participants would receive their
certificates.  Then early March, it became increasingly clear that the said Conference should be deferred due to Corona virus, it was a painful decision but I knew it was for the greater good and that at a future date it will be possible to do this training.

Trafficking of Women, Youths, Children & Men

Human Trafficking (HT) is the vilest trade on earth in addition to being the most lucrative.  The Global trade is a multi-billion dollar industry second only to the arms trade which also makes it the most violent industry on earth.  It results from a huge demand for purchased sex.  Trafficked persons are shipped all over the world to work in brothels, hotels, bars, lap dancing clubs and in red-light districts. Except for their services, the victims are largely invisible and are regarded as perishable goods, mere commodities to be sold and re-sold repeatedly for as little as $50.  In our modern world today when they are no longer useful they can be replaced, discarded or used to lure new victims.  This is very important to understand because unless we rescue and assist victims they can be used by their traffickers to recruit others

The vast majority of victims are trafficked within their own country as labourers, domestic servants, farming, fishing, begging, herders, etc.  All these are among the lowliest paid jobs and for longest hours.  With children they may only receive one meal daily and are deprived of an education, socialising with peers, missing out on their families, etc.  They are also sexually exploited within their work place and are rarely allowed out.

Who Thinks they Know of Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is the ultimate slavery and a crime of horrendous proportions.  Most of us can only guess but never get more than a hint of the level of degradation, abuse and torture experienced by its victims on a daily basis.  Human trafficking is much more than facts, it is a modern form of slavery not previously experienced in our world.  With the internet and modern communications on our doorstep the recruitment is swift and efficient.  Then the cargo (read human) is dispatched.

We in CHTEA, pledge ourselves to dismantle a phenomenon the size of a global pandemic virus!  Our efforts and mobilisation depends on all of us. That is why we are urging you to garner a wider readership for us and assist us where you can with any donations.  In the years I have pursued this ministry the heaviest and most expensive item we have is the rescue and care of victims.  But we cannot abandon the most ‘sinned-against’ human persons in their hour of greatest need.

May God protect and save us all in these days of Covid-19.

We pray for you & yours at this critical time in human history.


Mary O’ Malley, MMM

Prosecution and Partnership: The Case of Cross Border Child Trafficking – The DCI

In an unprecedented partnership arrangement, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) handed over a cross-border case to CHTEA. The case had fully been prosecuted at a Kenyan court in Makadara where the two Tanzanian traffickers were found to have a “prima facie” position (a case to answer).

The two children aged 6 and 8 years had been trafficked by their own aunt who used to live in Nairobi. She also trafficked another two Kenyan children to Tanzania. At the point of case handover, the DCI had concluded the traffickers’ case in court but had been unable to bring out the children’s father to Nairobi for a family reunion in the presence of the presiding judge.

Upon successful consultations with CHTEA, the DCI finally handed over the matter on 21st October 2019. CHTEA immediately mobilized the Tanzanian Chapter based in Singida for a possible intervention from that end. The children’s father originated from the Manyara region, Babati District, Dareda village. After back and forth consultations on whether to have the CHTEA Tanzanian chapter act on the matter, the Nairobi office made a decision to undertake the very delicate operation.

At exactly 2.30 pm on 29th October, one CHTEA senior staff from Nairobi set off for the Tanzanian mission. It took seven hours to get to Arusha where he luckily got the last bus to Babati at around 8.15pm. He was only allowed in after pleading with the bus driver as it was reportedly full.  The journey to Babati took another six hours; arriving at around 1.00am and booked himself to a hotel for a few hours rest before embarking on an unprecedented journey to a remote village, almost 100 kilometers away.

On the following day, the staff set out early after a simple breakfast meal at Babati. At the back of his mind, he did not expect the journey to be too long, but alas, a shocker awaited him. He first contacted the Administrator (Afisa Mtendaji) who confirmed that she was expecting him at her office at Dareda. His intention/expectation was to accomplish his mission in good time to be back at Arusha in time to travel back to Nairobi the same day.

The journey to Dareda was by use of a motor bike, hence, he had to first connect the motor bike rider to the Dareda Administration in order to get directions. It took almost an hour to get to Dareda which turned out to be a big shocker to the CHTEA staff who had earlier thought that Dareda was within the environs of Babati. On arrival, he called the Dareda Administrator who indicated that she was on her way to the office. Two hours later however, she had not still arrived and even after her arrival, she did not bother to seek him out. She instead embarked on another journey to the nearest township. Our staff had to send the motor rider (whom he had asked to wait) to bring her back to her office. Once back, she neither had any apologies for her delay nor her decision to leave a CHTEA staff waiting for her at her office, even after they had earlier telephone conversations.

No sooner had the CHTEA staff introduced himself to the Dareda Administrator than she began summoning her colleagues and community leaders for a consultative meeting. At the meeting, she claimed that Kenyans were not straight forward people as she asserted that during an earlier visit to Nairobi for the court testimony, the Tanzanian team (herself included) did not receive their reimbursements as promised by the Kenyan DCI officers. She further claimed that it could have been the reason why one of the Kenyan DCI officers did not notify her of CHTEA’s mission….this even as she was handed an official letter from the DCI confirming CHTEA’s mission.


The matter deteriorated further when the Administrator decided to instruct that the children’s father not to show up, lest he gets lured to Kenya before the reimbursement matter is settled. After a very long protracted discussion, the CHTEA official disclosed a mobile money transfer from the DCI to the same Administrator.  The disclosure created more discomfort and she changed the story line to non-payment of allowances. The mobile money transfer was for Kenya Shillings 16,000 (equivalent to Tsh. 320,000). The CHTEA officer had at one point make a threat to the Administrator…….telling her that all he was seeking was to get the Tanzanian children back to their parent and if they did not recognize his effort towards the same, he could as well choose to travel back to Nairobi. His threat yielded some traction and the Administrator sent him back to Babati to meet the Regional Commissioner and the Regional Commander of the Criminal Investigations’ Division (CID).

While all this was happening, time was running out for the CHTEA officer to catch a bus from Arusha to Nairobi. At 2.45pm, he headed back to Babati to seek clearance from the Regional heads but this proved to be another uphill task. The Regional Commander was not available, so he was asked to wait at a wooden bench. The officers in the office tried to reach him out on his mobile phone but nothing was forthcoming. He had to learn the important virtue of patience. After waiting for 30 minutes, he returned to the same office and charged at the officers……seeking to know if they had made any further efforts to reach out to the Regional CID Commander. They made another call where the boss instructed the police officers to refer the CHTEA officer to the District Police Force to deal with the matter. The officer in charge of Dareda police post was instructed to process the matter and ensure that the children’s father was released to the CHTEA officer.

A security officer from Babati was released to accompany the CHTEA officer back to Dareda to take charge of the orders given by the Babati Regional leadership command. Even so, the Administrator at Dareda tried to persuade the CHTEA officer to allow more time so that he travels back to Nairobi the following day…….this he turned down and insisted that he preferred spending the night at Arusha.

Finally, at around 6.45pm, the children’s father was escorted to the Administrators office where a brief meeting was convened to explain the mission to him. The father disclosed how he had earlier been advised against meeting the CHTEA officer……but all this was now in the past. The and the CHTEA officer immediately took a motor bike to his home where he bade farewell to his family and picked his travel documents and immediately embarked on a journey of about 100 kilometers to Babati, enroute to Arusha.

By 7.30pm, the duo were on their way from Dareda to Babati where they would ride on any available means to Arusha. Eventually, they got a bus which was transiting from Tabora to Arusha where they arrived at 11.00pm and booked themselves into an overnight stay hotel. They however made an Arusha-Nairobi shuttle bus booking for the following day before retiring for the night. The two left Arusha for Nairobi at 7.30am the following morning, 31st October where they arrived at around 2.00pm and had lunch and booked the children’s father to hotel for overnight stay in order to appear at court the following day, 1st November 2019 for official handover of his children.

Family Re-unification at Court

The presiding court at Makadara had set 1st November 2019 as the handover date for the two children whose matter had involved two countries. The DCI, working in collaboration with CHTEA prepared for a proper handover of the kids to their biological father. Once the children’s father was in Nairobi, the DCI officer responsible for the case was immediately notified and logistical matters relating to the handover agreed on phone.

In the early morning of 1st November 2019, the DCI officer in charge of the court case collected the children’s father from CHTEA’s offices in South ‘B’ and returned with the reunited family at around 12.30pm. The head of DCI, Child Protection and Human Trafficking expressed a lot of gratitude of the support given by CHTEA to make the reunion possible. The kids looked quite excited to be with their father. CHTEA treated them to lunch and took them for shopping ……..kid clothes and bags. A special hotel room was booked for the reunited family – with two beds and a shuttle bus booking made for the following day.

The Return of a Reunited Family

On 2nd November 2019, 7.30am, the reunited family was picked from their hotel accommodation by the CHTEA Patron and taken to the Panari Hotel stage where an Arusha bound shuttle bus picked them up for their final journey home at Dareda, Tanzania. The Patron prepared a thermos flask full of tea and some snacks for the children to feed while on journey. An extra Kenya shillings 3,000 (Tsh 60,00) was also given to their father for journey incidentals and immediate family subsistence when they get back home.

The journey back home for the family was however not flawless. When family got to the Namanga border, the customs’ officials threatened to block the children from entering Tanzania for lack of travel documents. The shuttle bus driver called CHTEA Patron to inform her of the border challenge. The Patron liaised the Chief Executive Officer who in turn got in touch with the DCI. The matter was resolved in a record short time due to DCI’s intervention…….they spoke to colleagues at the Namanga border who got the family released proceeded to Arusha with the rest of the passengers.

Important Future Considerations

  1. A robust and active Tanzania CHTEA (Jukwaa) platform will go a long way to alleviate some of the difficulties of dealing with the Tanzania Government authorities. Establishing working relationships with the Government is key to success.
  2. Costs associated with cross border counter human trafficking cases keep fluctuating depending on the prevailing circumstances
  3. Partnership is the way to go in creating a flawless infrastructure for cross-border counter human trafficking interventions. Partnerships further enhance the attainment for the fourth pillar – Prosecution
  4. The two traffickers will be handed down a jail term of up to a maximum of 30 years. CHTEA will sit at the court to hear the final verdict of the case

The case was closed on 2nd November 2019


Sr Mary O’ Malley & Mutuku Nguli CEO

The 2017 Global Estimate of Modern Slavery: Gallup Survey Data

The 2017 Global Estimate of Modern Slavery: Gallup Survey Data

The Global Slavery Index of 2016 estimates that 45.8 million people are in form of Modern Slavery (MS) in 167 countries. The highest prevalence of MS being in North Korea (1.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.23 million), Cambodia (256,800), India (18.4 million) and Qatar (30,300). This ranking is in proportion to the countries’ populations. In Africa, the practice is more pronounced in the following five countries: Democratic Republic of Congo (0.8 million), Sudan (0.5 million), South Sudan (0.14 million), Somalia (0.12 million) and Libya (0.07 million). Closer home, the East African ranking is led by South Sudan, Rwanda (0.07), Burundi (0.07), Tanzania (0.3 million) Uganda (0.2 million) and Kenya (0.18 million).

Countries with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery include: Luxemburg, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All these countries manifest strong economic wealth, low conflict levels and political stability with the willingness to combat modern slavery.

From the foregoing statistics, modern slavery is a growing global concern and the momentum is projected to be increasing in Eastern Africa from countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Kenya. The trend is mainly disguised as a search for better job opportunities and quality of life. In Kenya for example, the latest trend of human trafficking is hinged on the high level of unemployment for all cadres of education and the deteriorating economic fortunes due to a myriad of factors, key among them being economic mismanagement and corruption.

Global Policy Framework

Global Policy Framework

On 15 November 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention Against Organized Crime, which came into force on 23 September 2003. To supplement the Convention, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, also known as the “Palermo Protocol,” was adopted. The Palermo Protocol defines “Trafficking in Persons” as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control of another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” The Palermo Protocol further specifies that the use of any of the means described above renders any consent on the part of the victim irrelevant, and that the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purposes of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if none of the means described are employed

Kenyan Context

Kenyan Context

Kenya is considered to be a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Kenyan women are reported to be subjected to forced prostitution in Thailand by Ugandan and Nigerian traffickers while the growing employment agencies for Middle East countries expose some of the Kenyan women to untold suffering in respect of prostitution, forced labor, gender based violence, killings and murders, maiming, confiscation of travel documents and starvation; among others.