To no one’s surprise, it has emerged that children and women in Sub-Saharan Africa are the most vulnerable victims of human trafficking worldwide. This is according to the latest 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons from the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.)
As per the report, the most prominently detected forms of trafficking are for sexual exploitation and forced labor - as much as a third of all humans traded around the world. However, victims are also being trafficked for forced marriages, used as beggars, fraud or production of pornography.
UNODC says that young girls and women tend to be trafficked for purposes of sexual slavery and marriages. They comprise over 70% of the victims. Men and boys are typically exploited for forced labor in the mining sector, as soldiers, porters, and slaves.
And kids are increasingly bearing the brunt of human trafficking with close to 30% of detected trafficking victims worldwide. In the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, children comprise over 60% of the victims.
The UN agency has also emphasized the link between ethnic conflict, armed groups, and human trafficking, noting how such groups often engage in trafficking, abducting and coercing women and girls into marriages or sexual slavery.
Data reveals that trafficking in persons and regular migration flows closely resemble each other in respect of some destination countries in various parts of the world. Factors like transnational organized crime in the country of origin and a person's socio-economic standing increase such vulnerability to human trafficking during the migration process.
Click here to get the full report.
In Kenya, the late onset and poor performance of the short and long rains last year have extended the dry season into 2017. Currently, 1.3 million people are affected by the severe drought with the numbers expected to rise. Amidst such extreme conditions and poverty, the fate of women and young girls can only worsen.
In Kenya, reaching the emergency services when you need them is excruciatingly difficult. The government’s 999 emergency number had been disconnected in 1998 due to the claims that the state lacked both the facilities and the personnel to deal with callers. It has since been reconnected in 2013 but suffers from constant overload.
These conditions make efforts of our organization – “Women Like Us” that much harder on the ground. But such struggles only strengthen our foundation’s resolve. Our primary goals remain a focus on initiatives to raise awareness about the plight of millions of victims of trafficking, especially women, and girls.
More resources are clearly needed to identify and assist potential trafficking victims, as well as aid them in sustenance and life skills. That’s where we all can contribute and assist.