By Khadija, Mbesa
Child exploitation takes place in different forms in Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa. These include domestic Labour; forced Labour in supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants; forced begging on the streets; sexual exploitation; and forced marriage.
Common deception methods used by the traffickers are, promised free education and lots of fee with little Labour
Domestic Labour; is the exploitation whereby a child or underage person tends to work through coercion or through deceit without a wage or unreasonable pay. Either way a child Is not supposed to work, because you will see underage girls do household work such as cleaning, washing and cooking with a minimum wage or no wage at all, and people in Kenya have normalized it seeing it is okay to hire those girls thinking that they are doing them (girls) a favor since they always come from poor families.
Sex tourism; sexual exploitation of children in Kenya, this is mostly from Mombasa and Nairobi, children are groomed and targeted online and forced to work in brothels. Parents or children are approached with offers to work in brothels in exchange for money or payment for education. They usually target those from low-income families or those from the slums. Mombasa beaches tend to be the sole attraction of sex tourism. Young girls go with older white men and young boys tend to go with older white women.
Forced begging; This is where children and unaccompanied minors living and working on the streets are forced into criminality. These individuals are extremely vulnerable to abuse and unaware of their legal rights. They may also be trafficked to Somalia for radicalization. Exploitation in the fishing industry is prevalent in the lakes in Kisumu. Traffickers recruit victims from other countries, refusing to let them off boats, often physically abusing those who complain or try to escape.
Forms of Exploitation
Exploitation can occur in a number of different forms and through various methods so it is important to be aware of this. Unfortunately, children are commonly exploited by people you know. If you receive an offer, whether from a stranger or someone you trust, please check it is not a fake promise.
Children are directly targeted, either online through social media or in-person in the community. Middlemen promise gifts and money and gain their trust with false promises.
Some boys and girls are forced to work as shamba boys, yayas and house help. They work from the early hours of the morning until late at night with no food, money or education. Other children are forced into commercial prostitution or forced to beg on the streets. That is human trafficking and that is illegal.
Spot the signs
- Unhealthy or inappropriate sexual behavior.
- Being frightened of some people, places or situations.
- Bring secretively.
- Sharp changes in mood or character.
- Having money or things they can’t or won’t explain.
- Physical signs of abuse, like bruises or bleeding in their genital or anal area.
- Lastly, in the streets, where children offer their talents in exchange for money, follow up you may find that they are forced to do that.
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