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Cablegate: Kenya: Tip Watch List Interim Assessment

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #4841/01 3171151
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131151Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5443
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 8927
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM PRIORITY 4962
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 4443
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 1683
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2057
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2031

UNCLAS NAIROBI 004841

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM KWMN PGOV SMIG KE
SUBJECT: KENYA: TIP WATCH LIST INTERIM ASSESSMENT

REF: STATE 174958

1. Summary: Kenya has made minimal progress in its efforts
to combat trafficking in persons (TIP), but there are
ambitious plans for the near future. Senior GOK officials
acknowledge the gravity of the TIP problem in Kenya, and
have expressed support for the establishment of a Steering
Committee to develop a National Plan of Action and to
coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. The Ministry of Home
Affairs has taken the lead in organizing and coordinating
activities at the district level, but these activities have
yet to bear the full hoped-for harvest. End Summary.

Recent Arrests, Investigations,
or Prosecutions of Traffickers
-------------------------------

2. In August, two police officers were suspended from duty
over a suspected child trafficking syndicate operating
between Kenya and Uganda. However, the officers were
reinstated to active duty pending disciplinary action from
Police Headquarters, which has yet to be meted out. The
officers, based at Endebess Police Station in Trans-Nzoia,
were interdicted after they allegedly helped a suspected
child trafficker escape from custody. The suspect was
subsequently re-arrested on August 27 trying to sneak an
allegedly stolen child to Uganda. We are still trying to
discover the fate of the alleged trafficker and will
follow-up with any such information via septel.

Tracking Anti-trafficking Law Enforcement Efforts
Throughout the Country
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. The Kenya Police Service (KPS) has been working on
tracking trafficking cases in the coast region, especially in
Mombasa, and in the Rift Valley, but there is still no
evidence of a comprehensive countrywide coordinated effort.
A lack of awareness of human trafficking-related issues among
law enforcement officials throughout Kenya continues to
severely undermine the KPS's ability to properly identify and
track human trafficking cases.

Steps to Establish a National TIP Working Group
National Plan of Action
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. The various ministries and government departments with
TIP-related responsibilities expressed strong support for the
development of a National TIP Steering Committee. The
International Organization for Migration (IOM) has funding to
support the establishment of the Committee, the National
Action Plan, and training for implementation, with the
Ministry of Home Affairs taking the lead role for the GOK.
IOM has hosted several large stakeholders' meetings, and
Government agencies are currently determining which one
should convene the initial meeting. Post has, in conjunction
with IOM, offered to facilitate the first such meeting,
preferably before end of December 2006.

Status of the Human Trafficking Unit
------------------------------------

5. No further information has been forthcoming about the
operational effectiveness of the Human Trafficking Unit
(HTU). Minimal efforts have been taken to strengthen its
anti-trafficking efforts. Among the items to be addressed at
the planned government inter-ministerial meeting is the
proposal to make the HTU accountable to the National Steering
Committee.

Efforts to Enforce the Code of Conduct
--------------------------------------

6. The Kenya Hotel Owners Association, Coast Branch,
recently told Ambassador Ranneberger that the majority of all
Coast hotels had signed the ECPAT Code of Conduct against
child sex tourism (CST). However, the hotels in Malindi,
which is one of the centers for CST, have not yet signed up.
It is envisaged that the Code of Conduct will also be
presented to hotels in Nairobi as well as hotels in other
Kenyan towns. Private beach cottages and villas in Malindi,
which have been suspected of conducting underhand businesses,
have now been forced to obtain hotel licenses and are subject
to examination by government inspectors.

Embassy Procedures to Assist Suspected Trafficking Victims
--------------------------------------------- -------------

7. Embassy officials plan to refer any suspected trafficking
victims we may become aware of to civil society organizations
providing various forms of assistance to trafficking victims.
Additionally, we will inform the relevant Kenyan government
authorities of the alleged trafficking case and work with
them to ensure an investigation is conducted.

Forthcoming TIP Legislation and Awareness
-----------------------------------------

8. The Trafficking in Persons Bill drafted by NGOs is now
being re-drafted at the Attorney General's Office. Although
the Attorney General's office assured a recent meeting of the
NGO TIP Network that the Bill would be ready by the end of
the year, this seems unlikely given the numerous other
crucial bills that are in queue for discussion by Parliament.

9. The Kenyan media, especially the government-owned Kenya
Broadcasting Corporation, has reported cases of suspected
human trafficking. One such recent case involves a female
worker who had been held illegally in Saudi Arabia, and who
managed to return to the country in October. We plan to
support civil society to conduct national and community-level
awareness-raising activities through radio, print materials,
and community workshops.

10. We have attended training sessions for journalists with
the aim of increasing both the quantity and quality of local
coverage of trafficking-related issues. The results are very
encouraging, as there has been a marked improvement in
reporting TIP matters. Post continues to cooperate with
civil society in advocacy and follow up for the enactment of
counter trafficking legislation that was presented to the
Attorney General's Chambers in May 2006. Post hopes to
continue its support for specialized training targeting
police, judiciary, immigration officials, and health workers.


Ambassador Hosts Anti-TIP Forum
-------------------------------

11. On November 13, 2006, Ambassador Ranneberger hosted a
forum for key foreign donors and potential donors who deal
with TIP matters to discuss priorities, strategies, and areas
for collaboration to advocate for sustained Kenyan government
action to combat TIP in Kenya. The Embassy representatives
and international organizations agreed to establish a working
group to coordinate and focus their efforts with GOK agencies
and NGOs.
RANNEBERGER

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