Prosecution in Child trafficking needs to be discussed across borders says, Wambui Njuguna Program director at African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) during a training session in Nairobi.
Child trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation according to the Counter Trafficking in Person Act, 2010 , Section 3 of article 3.In subsection 4 it prohibits acts that promote child trafficking and calls for punishment of such persons who engage in the act where he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 30 years or to a fine of not less than 20 million shillings or both upon subsequent conviction to life imprisonment.
The constitution of Kenya protects children from all forms of exploitation and abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, inhuman treatment and child labor. However, ANPPCAN called for training of the law enforcement for the soul purpose of identifying prosecution gaps and challenges, share opportunities and best practices to improve prosecution of child trafficking cases in Kenya and also enhance partnership among agencies in prosecution of child trafficking.
Children cannot protect themselves, they depend on us to do so instead of leaving them to the vultures out there who are greedily wait on the edge to tear down lives of these children for their own selfish gains. Child trafficking can happen between borders or within the country such as children moving from rural to urban settlements.
For trafficking of person to occur there’s need for the act (recruitment, transportation and harboring receipt of persons), means (threats, force or coercion) and purposes (exploitative e.g. prostitution) of the event. Trafficking can fall as involuntarily or voluntarily, on basis of illegal/legal documentation until one can identify of the act.
Kenya has been known as the source, transit and destination of this heinous act thus there’s need for this training for law enforcement to come together and find means and ways of how they can help to speed up the process of prosecution. It is of importance for law enforcement to be able to identify child trafficking cases, understand how to carry a case of this matter.
Most of the law enforcement dockets don’t have the know-how of this issue and they need adequate training and child policy guidelines on this issue so that they can conduct investigations and file charges efficiently in court. There’s need to create awareness to the society and the law enforcement agencies for ease of tackling this concern.
Sometimes we’re guilty of contributing to child trafficking since we intend to expose our children to different forms of abuse such as when a parent send a child from the village to go and help the aunt in urban settlements in the name of poverty is wrong. This child is exposed to child labor, sexual exploitation activity and then before you know it the might be sold to a third party for exploitative means.
Lack of concrete centralized, reliable data registration system on child trafficking, lack of awareness of trafficking of children and human and lack of identification of child tracking acts are major contributing factors that should be looked up to faster before this gets out of hand.
Child trafficking comes in different forms where a child might be sent by established and coordinated gangs to beg for money on the streets whereby if they don’t they suffer loss of family members or even death threats.
And as we finished up the training it is important for parent and care givers to take responsibility of raising these children right and let them be children, create policy frameworks and guidelines that will enable ease of prosecution of perpetrators and also crate good functioning partnership of non-governmental organization and the governmental address these issues be it on immigration department or children services departments.
We should allow our children to grow up in a sound environment free from abuse to encourage a holistic well-being of a child. If we work together then we will be building up a strong nation.