Tackling Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

This project is fundet by

Why We Do It

Every two out of five children living in the Coast of Kenya have experienced Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. CSEC comprises sexual abuse by the adult and remuneration in cash or kind to the child or a third person or persons. It occurs in many forms, e.g. child prostitution, child sex tourism, trafficking, domestic servitude and child marriage.

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CSEC constitutes a form of coercion and violence against children, and amounts to forced labour and a contemporary form of slavery.

Whilst the Kenyan government has taken some laudable steps to tackle CSEC through the 2013 – 2017 National Plan of Action Against CSEC, a lot still remains to be done at different levels – family, community, national government and regional.

The existence and continued growth of CSEC within Kenya has long been a cause for concern with the coastal region being identified as the region most affected especially by child sex tourism.

How we do it

Responding to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Terres des Homme Netherlands in partnership with Kesho Kenya are implementing a 3 year project whose overall objective is to contribute towards the elimination of CSEC in Kwale County with the following envisioned outcomes:

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  • Children engage duty bearers to raise child protection concerns and advocate for child rights on behalf of their peers.
  • Families and communities protect children from commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Kwale County government adopts and develops a strategy for the implementation of the SEC National Plan of Action to respond to CSEC in the County.
  • Law Enforcement Agencies convict perpetrators of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
  • Private sector (formal and informal) adopts a code of conduct for their staff with regard to child exploitation and abuse.
  • CSOs develop/revise their policies and activities to ensure children’s best interests are served.

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To achieve this, the project employs various intervention strategies

  • Prevention – where CSEC has occur, we will prevent it from recurring
  • Provision – We provide formal education & vocational training, medical care, legal support, psycho-social support and temporary shelter or alternative care
  • Promotion – We stand for children’s rights, we create awareness to children on their rights and identify trends and developments leading to CSEC
  • Prosecution – We ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Victims should be able to stand up for themselves and perpetrators not escape justice.
  • Partnerships and Participation – We aim at joining hands with other stakeholders and organization so as to bring CSEC to an end.

Our impacts

In 2019, our first year, we enrolled 140 children in the project: 35 girls and 3 boys who have been exploited and 69 girls and 33 boys who were identified as vulnarable.

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Project Activities

    We provided academic support for 17 CSEC survivors which included:

    • Provision of scholarly items and dignity packs.
    • Provision of fee payments and school uniforms.
    • School visits to monitor progress and encourage beneficiaries.
    • Provision of accelerated learning for 6 beneficiaries who had been out of school for a while.
    • Creation of linkages with the education sector to find effective and sustainable solutions to provide care and protection for CSEC survivors after graduating from the project.
      • Project Activities

          We provided counselling and related support to 32 CSEC survivors which included:

          • Supported guardians and caregivers of children in the project with awareness creation on CSEC, counselling for caregivers of exploited children, IGA training and home visits for follow up and monitoring.
          • Supported meetings with chiefs to raise awareness to communities on CSEC and child protection. This awareness sessions also included community dialogues and Participatory Educating Theatre sessions.
          • Trained 135 government officials on CSEC, child rights and child friendly justice systems.
          • Formed or reactivated 31Child Rights Clubs consisting of a total of 1,550 members.
          • Engaged in Advisary Area Committee deliberations at the Sub-county and County level and also got incorporated in the Kwale County Court Users Committee.
          • Trained 28 Civil Society Organisation representatives on child rights, child protection and CSEC.
            • Outcomes

              • Children in the Child Right Clubs have been observed to take active roles in campaigning against CSEC.
              • Three out of six CSEC court cases were decided in favour of victims who are our beneficiaries. The other three cases are ongoing.
              • Through peer led sensitization forums held by the CRC club members to reach other children who are not in the club, children are observed to mentor towards positive influence on each other.
              • Through positive parenting training and counselling sessions,caregivers have started showing signs of responsibility towards their children by helping them through their change of behaviour. Lack of responsibility has been one of the push factors to CSEC.
              • Law enforcement agencies exhibit high power to prosecute, through our intervention such as capacity building through trainings and supporting court users committee meetings with the aim of pushing our agenda has exhibit high interest in handling csec cases.

    What beneficiaries say

    “One mistake does not mean a complete defeat. Young people like me should not lose hope, no matter what they have done. Live can always change, as I have experienced through my participation in the Tackling CSEC project.” A teenage mother and CSEC victim, now beneficiary in the programme.