Building a Future
This project is funded by
The 21-months project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
through the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS)
The project is being implemented in Kwale and Kilifi counties by
Terre des Hommes Netherlands and Kesho Kenya.
Why We Do It
Five towns in Kwale and Kilifi counties are hotspots for child sex trafficking in travel and tourism: Ukunda, LungaLunga, Mtwapa, Watamu and Malindi. A 2013 (base line) study by Terres des Hommes Netherlands shows
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that one out of four children sampled in Kilifi had engaged in child sex trafficking, of which 12.7% were only 10 to 12 years old.
Child sex trafficking refers to an act of sexually abusing a child for economic gains, where sexual abuse is exchanged for anything of value (money, goods, or services) with the child or a third person(s). Child sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, soliciting, or maintaining of a child for the purposes of a commercial sex act. It occurs in many forms, for instance; child sexual abuse materials, sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and technology enabled sexual exploitation. Child sex trafficking constitutes a form of coercion and violence against children, and amounts to a contemporary form of slavery.
Some key challenges where child sex trafficking can be found:
- Systemic poverty,
- Scarce income opportunities,
- Deep rooted negative societal norms that include parental liberal attitudes towards sex for commercial gains,
- Culture of silence where women and girls’ voices are not considered as important,
- Harmful practices where girls’ education is not a priority and is often put aside in favor of marriage, including with foreign tourists and expatriates.
The Kenyan government has taken laudable steps to tackle child sex trafficking through the 2018 – 2022 National Plan of Action Against Sexual Exploitation of Children. However, much needs to be done to completely eradicate the vice.
How we do it
Responding to child sex trafficking, partners, Terres des Homme Netherlands and Kesho Kenya are implementing a 21-months project whose overall objective is to contribute towards the elimination of child sex trafficking in Kwale and Kilifi counties with the following envisioned outcomes:
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- Child sex trafficking survivors and children at risk of exploitation remain in school.
- Schools play an active role in monitoring, identifying and reporting child sex trafficking through the established referral pathways.
- Vulnerable families have improved income.
- Older child sex trafficking survivors trafficking have increased employability skills and are able to earn a sustainable income.
- Communities develop positive social norms that discourage child sex trafficking.
To achieve this, the project employs various intervention strategies:
- The project will give education and livelihood support to child sex trafficking survivors and at-risk children, which will be combined with vocational training and job opportunities for older survivors of sexual exploitation.
- Livelihood initiatives targeting vulnerable caregivers of child sex trafficking survivors will facilitate long-term and sustainable opportunities for self-reliance. These will also realize an increased resilience of families and communities to be able to protect children from all forms of violations, particularly child trafficking, and keep children in school.
- To create a safe and supportive environment and culture at home, communities and families will be sensitized to promote alternatives to negative social norms.
- The project will engage key stakeholders and existing community-based structures in the communities to support survivors and their families and promote child-friendly behaviors more broadly.
The project envisions working with 210 project beneficiaries, all of whom are survivors of child sex trafficking:
- 130 young child survivors of sex trafficking (9-15 years) will be assisted to return to or stay in school.
- 80 older child survivors of sex trafficking (16-18 years) will be coached and mentored. They will have the opportunity to participate in vocational training and internships in private/public companies and local businesses to facilitate their access to the labor market.
- 50 most vulnerable families will be trained in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and small business management. They will also be supported in Income Generating Activities (IGAs).
- 40 teachers and administrators will be trained.
- 14 child protection committees (210 beneficiaries) will be established and trained. Besides, the project will support child protection committees to conduct awareness-raising engagements, i.e. dialogues to influence social norms.
- Committees will be supported to develop information, education and communication (IEC) materials to promote, among other things, education and livelihood support for 210 child sex trafficking survivors and 1,800 at risk children.