Salvation Army leads other religious leaders and government officials into an ant-human traffic peace walk.

Religious leaders along the border counties led by Salvation Army, are appealing to the government to curb the surging cases of human trafficking that are rampant in the western region of the country.

Speaking at Salvation Army church Kolanya Division in a convention that brought together religious leaders across Busia, members of security team led by ACC Julius Marwa and various NGOs, they noted that the cases are complex and often involve organised crime syndicates, terrorism, fraudulent financial schemes, and sensitive victim issues due to porosity of the border.

“Poverty, lack of employment opportunities, discrimination, difficult family circumstances, conflicts in neighbouring countries and the legal and social inequality of women and girls are factors that make most children vulnerable to trafficking,” noted lieutenant canon Nolega Idiakho of Kakamega Salvation Army regional head quarter.

The organization launched a three-year project that advocates for anti-human trafficking with the sense of giving hope to the less privileged in the society.

Cases of human trafficking have increased by more than 300 percent in the last five years, with Busia County being the worst hit. At least 1000 people are trafficked every year through Busia and Malaba borders as revealed by Busia county labour officer Agrippina Auma.

According to the report labour, Ugandan children as young as seven are exploited in forced labour here in Kenya  especially in agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, gold mining, stone quarrying, brick making, carpentry, steel manufacturing, street vending, bars, restaurants, gold mining, and domestic service due to the affordable remuneration terms .

“Out of 10 house-helps in Kenya, seven are of Ugandan origin. This has been the norm in recent days as most people have resorted to opening illegal house help training centres for their selfish gains,” noted Auma.

The sentiments that were echoed by the bishop of salvation  new report by the US government state department has accused the government of Uganda of not doing enough for its citizens who are trafficked abroad.

Caren Mwenesi the anti-human trafficking project coordinator slammed the government for loosening on the trafficking law thus giving the culprits advantage to expound their businesses.

She urged religious leaders to use their platforms to sensitize the public on impacts of trafficking both within and overseas.

“Most youths are opting to seek cheap labour to caution themselves from high poverty and unemployment that has ravaged the country,” said Mwenesi.

In effort to educate the public, they staged an ant-trafficking walk in Busia town, making stopovers at the Soko Posta, Busia stage, county commissioner’s offices as they propagated the gospel to all.

According to ACC Marwa, in the last four decades, Busia has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of street children in the country's urban centers. This has led to development of several interventional measures to curb the menace, although with little success.

Going by the 2019 census, there were 46,639 street people in the country, and more children have been born since then.

“Most counties do not have prevention mechanisms, standards guidelines and regulations for rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and resocialization to the street families,” noted Marwa.


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