In Kenya, it is estimated that more than 50% of the population is living below the poverty line, with women and children being the worst affected. For instance there are 250,000 street children (girls and boys) in the country, of which 60,000 are surviving in Nairobi. These children are particularly exposed to sexual violence, including forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
Kenya is considered to be a country of origin, transit and destination of trafficking in children for the purpose of sexual exploitation, more specifically from Uganda to neighboring countries. In addition, more and more cases of child sexual exploitation in tourism are reported, in particular along the coastal areas. It is estimated that about 50, 000 children and teenagers are victims of sexual exploitation in tourism. During low seasons, domestic demand maintains child prostitution.
Faced with this situation, Kenya has adopted different laws to ensure better protection of child victims. The 2006 law regarding sexual offences regulates in particular and applies to the issues surrounding the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, child prostitution, and trafficking in children for sexual purposes. The government has created support services in police stations and juvenile courts in the country’s major cities. However, the legislation remains unknown in the country, including by the police, making the enforcement of those laws even more difficult.
In Kenya, we are working with the association UNDUGU SOCIETY OF KENYA (USK). Created in 1973, the Kenyan association is committed to helping street children, thus becoming a pioneer in this field on the African continent. We are supporting the UNDUGU project targeted towards young girls who are victims of prostitution, in particular through the development of associations, allowing them to gain social and professional skills so that they can defend their own rights.
We are also supporting RESCUE DADA, “the shelter for girls” in Kiswahili, a child protection shelter providing care for girls living in the streets. Rescue Dada welcomes them during their rehabilitation period until their reintegration. Finally, its hairdressing and beauty professional training center welcomes vulnerable young mothers living in the most precarious situations. .