Govt Sued After Rescuing 5 Foreigners From Bar

  • The Kenyan Government has officially been served by the Awareness Against Human Trafficking, HAART over what the organisation termed as mishandling of Indian and Nepalese women who had been rescued from sex traffickers at a Nairobi bar in August, 2019.

    According to a report by Reuters, the petition that was filed on Monday, December 9 accused the government of not providing the correct treatment of victims who were rescued. 

    HAART Program Consultant Sophie Otiendo criticised why the women were made to testify after the traumatizing experience, instead of being accorded safe and speedy repatriation first. The organisation has been hosting the victims in a safe house for four months. 

    HAART Kenya Director Radoslaw Malinowski speaking during a church function

    The group stated that the government was in violation of anti-human trafficking laws that give victims the right to privacy and safe repatriation.

    Sophie claimed that the government's decision five women to remain in the country and testify against the suspects had caused them psychological harm. 

    “After four months, the victims just want to go home. They have become deeply traumatized and suicidal. Some have been hospitalised and we have filed a complaint against the government so that all victims of trafficking are not compelled to testify, and the government pays for their speedy and safe repatriation,” Sophie Otiende, program consultant for HAART Kenya told Reuters.

    HAART also demanded compensation of Ksh1.3 million incurred by hosting the victims.

    Head of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, Elizabeth Mbuka, refuted the claims as she argued that the organisation had not requested for monetary assistance from the government. 

    “We have received requests from other charities which are being considered. If  the organization approached us, we would, of course, consider providing funds for these victims,” stated Elizabeth. 

    According to Reuters a court order for the repatriation of the five women had now been given. Kenya is home to about 328,000 modern-day slaves and about one in 143 of its population , this is according to the Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation.

    Image credits Human Trafficking and the Hotel Industry website