Detectives based in three Coastal counties have been trained on how to curb child sex trafficking and other related vices that are prevalent in the country’s tourism hub.
The International Justice Mission (IJM) organised the training with close to 100 detectives being trained on how to identify the stages through which children are groomed for sexual exploitation, identifying children prone to sex trafficking, and the roles played by the various perpetrators and actors in a trafficking cycle.
The officers drawn from Mombasa, Kilifi, and Kwale counties were also taken through the legal framework for Child Sex Trafficking in Kenya as set out in the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act.
One of the facilitators, Naomi Gichuki an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Legal Consultant, said the training was key in preparing the officers to handle the vice that if left unabated, would destroy the future of many children, especially at the coast.
“Innocent children are lured by traffickers with offers of food, clothes, affection, friendship, and love then after cultivating some level of trust, the traffickers engage them in prostitution away from their friends and family,” said Gichuki.
The officers were also sensitised on how to adequately interview victims without re-traumatizing them, how to handle crime scenes, evidence management, the chain of custody, and transnational child sex trafficking.
The training culminated with the launch of a child-friendly interview room for victims of child sex trafficking, which was commissioned at the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHTCPU) offices in Mombasa on June 30, 2022.
Child sex trafficking investigations present unique challenges to law enforcement agencies and require a multi-jurisdictional response, to ensure the protection of victims and effective prosecution of offenders.
DCI welcomed the partnership with the International Justice Mission, as one of the ways of ensuring the safety and security of our children in the increasingly globalized society that we live in today.