Committed to the Cause: Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking

© UNODC

Law enforcement - Police

Mueni Mutisya,
Head of Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHTCPU), Kenya

My Unit works under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and deals with cases of child trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse.

We also handle victim identification, rescue, placement in care facilities and offer counselling services.

We rescue an estimated 600 children a year from trafficking.

A further role is to raise awareness among police officers on these crimes.

The Unit was set up in 2016, and since then it has been active in prevention, response and protection of children against trafficking.

UNODC has been very supportive to the Unit through the training and mentoring of our personnel. 

The most challenging parts of my job are communication and language barriers, the victims’ lack of trust and fear of law enforcement officers.

We also have limited access to shelters that cater for the needs of victims in Kenya.

Our work is successful hence, the Units’ protective measures and awareness raising activities have reduced the number of children likely to fall into exploitative situations.

In January 2020, we rescued 120 girls who had been trafficked from Uganda to Kenya and were being exploited for domestic services in Nairobi.

I do feel proud when our work leads to the successful identification, rescue and reintegration of child victims of trafficking and when we secure a conviction for a paedophile.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked with partners to provide online counselling and assistance to victims to maintain social distance rules.

We partnered with internet service providers and technology companies to ensure the safety of children online and the provision of safe educational platforms.

We increased awareness through the media and social media platforms on online child sexual exploitation and have been closely monitoring child trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse cases with the aim of analysing the trends.

Further information

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - campaign website