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UNODC Presents Joint Stakeholder Response Training to Counter Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Kenya

Naivasha (Kenya), 9 December –UNODC recently delivered a 5-day Joint Agency Response Training on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Kenya. The training workshop focused extensively on a human rights-based and victim-centred response and included a simulated interdiction and investigation with actors playing the parts of perpetrators, victims and witnesses to ensure that the simulation was as close as possible to a real-life scenario. 31 participants from multiple agencies and organizations responsible for preventing, countering, investigating and prosecuting the crimes of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants, but also various non-governmental organization (NGOs) and civil society organization, participated in the scenario-based workshop.

Participants included criminal investigators from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), legal officers from the Attorney General’s Office, lawyers from Lawyers Without Borders, social workers from the Directorate of Immigration Services, officials from the Witness Protection Agency, representatives from the Counter-Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) Secretariat and the Refugee Affairs Secretariat; a psychologist from Kisiwa Wellness & Psychosocial Support Services, as well as 12 actors playing traffickers and victims as part of the simulated raid.

The overall aim of the workshop was to cultivate the establishment of a formalised, victim-focused, joint agency response to cases of TIP and SOM.

Victims and witnesses in TIP cases are often highly vulnerable and it is therefore important that criminal justice practitioners at different phases of the criminal justice process will put in place various measures to protect victims.

 From a law enforcement perspective, the process of interviewing victims, collecting corroborating evidence and investigating perpetrators is more effective when the victim receives care and protection from service providers as early in the process as possible.

However, gaining the cooperation of victims and witnesses can be challenging. Often, because of their distrust of police in their home countries, trafficking survivors fear law enforcement agencies and are concerned they will be treated as criminals, incarcerated, or deported. Victims of TIP are first and foremost victims of crime and must be recognized and treated as such - not as criminals.

Besides the simulated interdiction, the workshop focused on utilizing the Kenya National Referral Mechanism (NRM); developing a map of potential service providers who can provide victim protection and assistance; and how to process a TIP and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) crime scene.

Also present during the training were representatives from Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART), Azadi Kenya – an organisation led by survivors and allies that offers long term support and capacity development to survivors of TIP, OKOA SASA – a micro-finance company, Candle of Hope Foundation (COHF), African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN), Trace Kenya – a national Counter Trafficking in Persons NGO based in Mombasa; Usikimye an organization working towards ending the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) in East Africa; the Counter Human Trafficking Trust-East Africa (CHTEA).

UNODC is enhancing the capacity of Member States in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, through the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme – specifically addressing TIP and SOM within, to and from the Horn of Africa – by providing technical expertise and support to respective criminal justice institutions. This support and assistance focus on enhancing legal frameworks and strengthening criminal justice capacity, including through the procurement of equipment, training workshops and supporting with drafting and review of legislation, to effectively implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementing protocols; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Trafficking in Persons Protocol) and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of Migrants Protocol).

The BMM Programme is being implemented by UNODC as part of its regional Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Programme within the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2021) – Promoting the Rule of Law and Human Security in Eastern Africa.

See UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 here.


For more information, please contact: 

Mr. Johan Kruger –
Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes,
UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa