KENYA – Child trafficking

To contextualize the phenomenon, in June 2019, the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons published by the U.S. Department of State described Kenya as a source, transit and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual and forced labor purposes. Saudi Arabia, among others, was very fond of domestic workers through Kenyan-based recruitment agencies, who were often victims of physical and sexual violence and sometimes murder. In 2016 the Kenyan government itself declared an organ trafficking alliance with Kosovo, Croatia, and Turkey. Finally, we add that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reports that about one million people, the majority of whom are women and children, are trafficked every year from Nigeria to Italy, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Eastern countries and Russia. The stage is set.

As part of the BBC World Service, the BBC has created Africa Eye, a network of trained investigative journalists across the continent. They shared a story about child trafficking in Nairobi: posing as baby buyers, they arranged to buy a child abandoned in a public hospital. This triggered an investigation and the arrest of many people. Indeed, on the streets of Nairobi, some distressed, cash-strapped, homeless women had their babies stolen from the streets. How do the traffickers proceed? This cartel (syndicate) is composed of vulnerable opportunists and organized criminals, both categories working together. The modus operandi is simple, putting the victim in confidence by trickery or drugging them to entrust the child and then run away. The child will then be sold to an intermediary for sometimes a few hundred euros and will disappear into the wild. In the shantytowns, clandestine clinics also offer mothers the opportunity to buy their babies at birth, with the mother receiving only ¼ of the sale price or sometimes nothing at all. But it goes even further, into the corridors of the public hospital where social workers and doctors sell children in transit for adoption on orders. The end result is that these children will end up being sold between 350 and 2000 euros for adoption illegally with false papers or as labor or even human sacrifices. As part of the BBC report, 7 people all belonging to the Mama Lucy public hospital will be prosecuted: Dr Emma Mutio (director of the Mama Lucy hospital),Dr Regina Musembi and Juliana Mbete Kimweli (administrators), Musa Mohammed Ramadhan (medical superintendent), Beatrice Njambi Njoroge (newborn unit), Selina Awour Adundo and Makkalah Fred Leparan (social workers) are accused of child trafficking by the court. The lawyer representing the accused, Danstan Omari, pleaded for the release of the accused pending trial. Danstan was a children’s officer in the Department of Children’s Services, office of the vice president of the Kenyan government, and is an influential person working for the government. Rather surprising to find him defending this clientele, he who is supposed to defend the rights of children! Great doubts can be raised about the reliability of the judicial and hierarchical system in a country where corruption is rampant. Prosecutor Caroline Kirimi stated that there was no evidence linking the accused to the child trafficking scandal, so they will not be prosecuted. In short, it smells like a leak, and out of 7 defendants, as for the networks, only one will be guilty.

The DCI (the police in Kenya) said they had reason to believe that there is a well-organized gang throughout the country. According to the government organization Missing Child Kenya, 600 cases have been reported in the last 3 years but thousands disappear every year. According to Ms. Munyendo, founder and director of the NGO, the problem is very big in Kenya, it’s under-reported and it’s just the surface. Even if it is a crime, it is not a priority in the plan of the authorities, nor of the media to push the authorities to act, given the economic status of these mothers, who have no means, no network, lacking information to protect their children and ask for help in the search for their missing children. Following this scandal linked to the BBC Africa Eye investigation, the Kenyan authorities decided to reinforce security in hospitals and children’s homes. In the words of the Secretary of the Labour and Social Welfare Office, Samuel Chelugui, “We condemn the alleged theft and sale of babies in Nairobi and any other part of the country,” he implies that these are only allegations, even though they have had all the evidence in hand for years. Illegal, so-called “street” clinics have been around forever. The authorities are doing nothing to shut down these clinics and put in place a reliable system for the safety of mothers and their babies. Even though legal adoption procedures exist in Kenya, the authorities are turning a blind eye to a criminal system that has been in place for years. Indeed, there are few arrests and convictions of these traffickers as a result of internal investigations.

Yet, cases like these are numerous. Pastor Gilbert Deya’s “Miracles Babies” case from 2005 to 2017 will reveal that “his ‘church’ was part of an international network responsible for the abduction of babies and young children. He claimed to be able to produce miraculous pregnancies on infertile women … while he ran a network of baby trafficking through clandestine clinics. In 2017, 3 buses were intercepted by the police. They were transporting children to Nairobi. Another example is the arrest in 2020 of two women in Mlolongo, Machakos County. One of them, the mother, was trying to sell her son for US$440 and was ambushed by the police. Also in 2020, children between 13 and 17 years old were arrested at a party with bhang (cannabis product, Space Cake) and alcoholic drinks, the police found condoms. The traffickers were making big profits from these child porn images. The Kenyan government does not keep any statistics on child trafficking, there are no reports, nor is there a full investigation on its part. The problem was also cultural and stigmatized around infertility. A woman is rejected from her family if she cannot give birth, especially to a boy. So those who cannot have children steal them from other vulnerable young mothers through this network of traffickers. Why is Kenya so heavily affected by infertility? One can easily make the link with the generalized vaccination campaigns in several African countries, decided by governments, with Bill Gates’ vaccines, under the pretext of eradicating malaria, Ebola, tetanus, etc, which contain sterilizing products and are administered without the populations’ knowledge. The sterility and poverty of these women who are deliberately wanted by these corrupt governments and satanist “elites”, greedy for power and money, feed the gigantic trafficking of these children who nobody cares about, nor their mothers. This is a crime against humanity, a crime against children!

Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12