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The Role of Poverty in Fueling Human Trafficking in Kenya and Nigeria

Human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people, particularly in developing countries. Kenya and Nigeria are two African nations where human trafficking is a significant issue, and the number of victims continues to rise. In this blog post, we will examine the current state of human trafficking in Kenya and Nigeria, and how the two countries compare in their efforts to combat the problem.


Human Trafficking in Kenya:


Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. The country has a high rate of internal trafficking, particularly in the coastal and western regions. The primary forms of human trafficking in Kenya include forced labor, sexual exploitation, and forced begging.


The primary drivers of human trafficking in Kenya are poverty and unemployment. Many children in Kenya are forced into domestic work or forced begging, while adults are often lured with promises of work or education, only to end up in forced labor or the sex trade.

Kenya has made some progress in combating human trafficking, but it remains a significant issue in the country. The Kenyan government has established a national action plan on human trafficking, established shelters for victims of trafficking, and increased training for law enforcement officials. However, corruption within the government and law enforcement agencies remains a significant challenge, making it difficult to prosecute traffickers.


Human Trafficking in Nigeria:


Like Kenya, Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. The country has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in Africa, with the majority of victims being women and children. The primary forms of human trafficking in Nigeria include sexual exploitation, forced labor, and domestic servitude.


The primary driver of human trafficking in Nigeria is poverty. Many children are forced to work in domestic labor, while young girls are often forced into prostitution to support their families. Parents may also knowingly or unknowingly sell their children into slavery to pay off debts.

Nigeria is also a hub for regional and international trafficking. Women and girls are often lured with promises of work or education, only to end up being forced into prostitution or other forms of exploitation. Trafficking is also prevalent in the fishing and agricultural industries.


The Nigerian government has established a national agency for the prohibition of trafficking in persons, implemented a national plan of action on human trafficking, and established shelters for victims of trafficking. However, corruption within the government and law enforcement agencies remains a significant challenge, making it difficult to prosecute traffickers.


Comparison of Human Trafficking in Kenya and Nigeria:


Kenya and Nigeria share many similarities in terms of the drivers of human trafficking, with poverty being the primary cause in both countries. However, Nigeria has a higher rate of human trafficking, with regional and international trafficking being a significant issue.

Both countries have implemented measures to combat human trafficking, including national action plans, increased training for law enforcement officials, and the establishment of shelters for victims. However, corruption within the government and law enforcement agencies remains a significant challenge in both countries.


Kenya has been placed on the Tier 2 Watchlist by the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, indicating that the government has made some efforts to address trafficking but still needs to do more to combat it effectively. Nigeria has been placed on Tier 2, indicating that the government is making efforts to eliminate trafficking, but more needs to be done.


Community awareness and empowerment are essential in preventing human trafficking in both countries. Education on the risks and dangers of human trafficking is crucial, and community members need to be empowered to identify and report trafficking.

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