The human trafficking and international crimes Seminar took place on the 12/4/2017. The Fight against human trafficking and international organised crimes scaled up, With speaker after speaker supporting the message of preventing and stopping the global human trafficking rackets. THE Chief Justice Mr David Maraga said that Kenya was one of The partners in the fight against International crimes. He added that sustaining judiciary transformation was part of enhancing access to Justice. He talked about sustaining judiciary transformation thereby increasing efficiency, as well as individual accountability for peak performance. And effectively harnessing ICT in all Judiciary operations.
He added that there were plans to establish the international organised crimes division in The High Court of Kenya to deal with this growing menace, and former CJ Mr Willie Mutunga is helping to oversee this division.
The Judiciary Training Institute in collaboration with partners enhances the Judges training, capacity building, adjudicating counter terrorism and related cases across East Africa.
The CJ said that He would Peruse the report of this human trafficking and international crimes Seminar with many partners in The Judiciary present to see how they can more effectively address these crimes. He concluded His message by thanking all for their dedication and commitment towards enhancing the rule of law.
The pictures used in this message is to illustrate that out of The 20.9 million victims globally,The International Labour Organisation estimates,,, 26% of them are children, while 55% are women and girls.
Kenya acceded to The National Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish trafficking in persons in Jan 2005.especially trafficking in women and children, due to the rampant cases of human trafficking.
The TIP Protocol supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational organised crimes to which Kenya is a signatory. To implement these internal obligations, Parliament enacted the Counter Trafficking in persons Act, 2010.The Act provides the much needed legal framework to Prevent trafficking in persons. The Act establishes the Advisory Committee in which under section 19 stipulates its membership to include, The Ministries in – charge of immigration, foreign affairs, gender and children, labour, the ODPP, the department of Justice and the Attorney General, KNCHR, civil society representatives, COTU and Federation of Kenya Employers and a secretariat – which is hosted by the Department of Children Services. The Advisory committee was launched on the 8 th of July 2014 by the then C.S to The MOLSS and there after elected the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson as stipulated in The first schedule of The counter trafficking in persons Act 2010.
The Advisory committee’s functions are as stated provided for in section 20 and can be classified as formulation of policies, coordination of Activities and monitoring and evaluating the progress of Kenya’s efforts on Prevention,Protection and Prosecution of Human Trafficking in Kenya.
Kenya has taken several initiatives to counteract the CTIP menace including :development of The National Plan of Action for combating human trafficking, in December 2016, the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Guide lines were launched.
The development of this NRM was spear headed by the Counter Trafficking in persons Advisory committee with support from United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), law enforcement agents and service providers. The NRM provides standardized operating procedures for assisting victims.it further provides a system for identification, Referral, holistic support and assistance to VOT.
The establishment of these NRM guide lines for Kenya is founded on the country’s Constitutional framework in particular chapter 4 on the Bill of Rights, The Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Act 2010, the Victim Protection Act 2014, Witness Protection Act 2006, and the National Plan of Action for Combating TIP in Kenya (2013-2017).
Other achievements carried out by the Advisory Committee for the financial year 2016/2017 includes:-
The Committee with the support of the secretariat has been able to conduct and fully participate in statutory meetings. During the meetings the AC developed their work plan for the year 2015 /2016, agreed on the reporting format and gave their inputs for the amendments of The CTIP Act.
The AC also undertook the amendment process of The Counter Trafficking in Persons Act 2010. The Act which was enacted before the Constitution needs to be amended to harmonize it with The current Constitution 2010 as well as deal with loopholes that have been identified by other stakeholders such as The identification of victims and the place of transport companies in The offence of Human Trafficking amongst others.
The AC also with support from UNODC has developed draft guide lines in accordance with section 28 of the COUNTER TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACT. They were also involved in the development of Standard Operating procedures for Police and Prosecution to assist victims of trafficking.
The AC also lobbied for the establishment of the National Assistance Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking, resulting to the recent gazettement of some of the members of the Board of Trustees who shall administer the trust fund. The Fund is yet to be launched by the Cabinet Secretary.
The AC has also participated through the Chairperson and the secretariat in The reporting processes and has shown Kenya in good light. In the US Trafficking In Persons Report 2015, where Kenya moved from being on Tier 2 watch list to Tier 2,meaning that Kenya was seen as one of the governments making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with The US Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. This is an important step as a decline to tier 3 would have implication on donor relations.