Parents in most African Nations, the majority of which are from developing nations, are a worried lot as cases of child trafficking are on the rise.
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transfer and receipt of individuals through the use of force and deceit, which also involves abuse of power and the high level of vulnerability of the person who is involved.
There are also other forms of coercion by use of fraud.
Despite the efforts made by the UNICEF in assisting and offering support in provision of training to the professionals who work with children—including health and social workers, police and border officials—to ensure child trafficking is discouraged and completely stopped, not much has changed in most African countries where the vice is still happening.
This is due to the non-compliance of these nations.
UNICEF is now trying to assist most African governments to ensure the development of qualified personnel in matters to deal with children to avert human trafficking, which is affecting mostly women and children.
According to the United Nation’s report, African countries are still facing the challenge of child trafficking because most of its citizens are considered vulnerable, especially those who live in slum areas and abject poverty.
People involved in child trafficking in most of the African countries typically go to the children’s homes and pretend to be caring, as if they’d like to sponsor the children in better schools or cater for their accommodation and meals.
Then they end up trafficking children to other countries where the children end up being abused.
Earlier this year in Kenya, three men went to a children’s home in Thika town, which is about 45 Km the capital Nairobi, and took six children all below the age of 15 under the pretext that they would cater for their accommodation and ensure that they go to school.
But the men lied to the unsuspecting parents.
The parents, due to the poverty in which they were living, did not question the offer; they allowed their children to go with the group and since then, there has been no information on the whereabouts of the children.
It is believed that it could be an incident of child trafficking and the police have not been able to trace three men involved.
It is true, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), that there are millions of children who are involved in the trafficking fate, and there has been a huge threat especially on African children due to the high cases of vulnerability that exist among these nations as the majority of people who live in slum settings are impoverished.
The children are often taken from their homes.
According to a documentary about the misery of slum children in Kenya by investigative journalist Dennis Onsarigo, a family in the Kibera slum of the Nairobi capital were subjected to this situation when the father one day took up his children and told them that they were going to Nigeria.
There were four men who looked wealthy, as they were driving luxurious cars according to an eye witness.
Once the father met up with the three men who were inside the range rover, he told them to wait because he was going to buy some new clothes for them to change, and he left.
The children were taken by the unanimous people who could not be traced to date; the Kenyan government is still searching for the people who were involved, but they haven’t yet been traced.
The three children, a son and two daughters all between the ages of 12 and 16, are still missing. The father is still in custody, but is assisting in the investigation.
There are also claims of children disappearing after birth, especially in one city hospital in Nairobi by the name Pumwani Maternity hospital.
Mothers after giving birth they are told that their babies did not survive and yet they are not shown the corpse of their babies.
The cases of still births have been on the rise, which raises the alarm of something fishy is going on.
According to an interview with the affected of a couple, a woman who had been pregnant with twins was admitted to the hospital (Pumwani Maternity Hospital) in January 2017.
The parents had already had another child, their first born.
After the birth of the first twin, according to the mother, the child seemed healthy and was even crying after birth, as most new-born babies do.
The doctors who were in charge reported that there were intense contractions, and the babies had already died in the womb 12 hours before they were born.
The mother maintained that she had heard the babies cry after birth and could not take the pain of her children being taken away with the doctor in charge claiming that it was a stillbirth.
The father, who had rushed to buy baby clothes after his wife told him over the phone that she’d given birth to twins, was later told that it was a still-birth.
On demanding to see the babies, the hospital gave an excuse that the one with the responsibility to show him the kids was not present and that the father would be allowed to see the deceased babies the following day.
This was not the first time such a situation occurs in this particular hospital.
Many mothers have given birth in the hospital and after the procedure, they’re told that they had still births and are not allowed to see the dead kids immediately after birth.
There are speculations that these kids are sold, which could be a few instances of human trafficking.
The investigations have not been fruitful though, due to the high level of corruption in the country that has infiltrated the police department.
According to the reports by UNICEF, Kenya is a source and destination country for children who are being subjected to trafficking, including sex-trafficking.
There is also exploitation of the children, especially for those living in the coastal region where there is a well-developed tourism industry.
There are many children from third-world countries like Burundi, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Sudan who are trafficked to Qatar and other areas like Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Emirates, and they are subjected to forced labor and domestic servitude.
Though there is minimum compliance of the African Nations to CTIP, there has been little development on the action to be taken against child trafficking fate.
In Uganda, women and children are trafficked mostly to India and Afghanistan, Indonesia and UAE.
Some of the victims of trafficking have also been found in Qatar, South Korea and Thailand, and the government of Uganda is not compliant to the Counter-Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) though there have been some campaigns to raise awareness around the problem.
And some of the offenders in the child trafficking have been prosecuted.
In Tanzania, the incidences of internal trafficking exceed transnational child trafficking, and most family members and friends are the ones who make it possible and facilitate the vice.
The government of Tanzania is also not fully with the minimum standards; young girls are highly exploited in domestic servitude and there are increased cases of child trafficking for commercial sex on the Kenya-Tanzania border and majorly in tourist areas.
There, trafficking of children is at the highest level, especially for girls. From Tanzania, the children are trafficked to countries like Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
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