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Three-Year Project Launched to Eliminate Child Exploitation (Child Trafficking and unsafe Migration) in Northern Kenya

July 17th, 2023

Strategies for Northern Development (SND) and Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH NL) are delighted to announce the launch of a three-year project with the noble goal of eliminating detrimental traditional practices that significantly affect children in Northern Kenya.

Veronica Mwangi, Chairperson, Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) giving a powerful speech

The project, dubbed "Child Protection through Capacity Building, Transformation of Social Norms, and Strengthening of Protection Mechanisms," will primarily focus on eradicating harmful practices in Moyale Sub County, Marsabit County. It is expected to create substantial positive transformations in the lives of children in the region.

In Northern Kenya, Marsabit County confronts numerous child rights violations leading to enduring psychological and physical harm, restricted livelihoods and development prospects, limited educational access, and systemic gender inequality. The underlying causes contributing to child protection concerns, notably child trafficking and unsafe migration, encompass diverse factors: deep-rooted cultural and traditional beliefs perpetuating harmful social norms concerning child protection; insufficient resources and infrastructure, particularly in remote and marginalized regions, hindering the implementation of comprehensive child protection programs; a lack of awareness, knowledge, and understanding of child rights, child protection laws, and available support services among community members; inadequate enforcement of laws and policies, coupled with insufficient evidence for evidence-based planning, programming, and advocacy. There is inadequate data on trends and developments in child trafficking and unsafe migration practices, hampering the formulation of responsive, evidence-based solutions.

SND, Terre des Hommes Netherlands, and key stakeholders have united to launch a project in Marsabit County to tackle these pressing issues. The project focuses on Child Protection through Capacity Building, Transformation of Social Norms, and Strengthening Protection Mechanisms in Moyale Sub-county in Marsabit County. The goal is to enhance child protection, address exploitation, and promote well-being.

To achieve the ambitious goal, the project envisages the following strategic objectives:

  • To influence the elimination of harmful traditional practices and encourage the adoption of positive norms that prevent child trafficking and unsafe migration of children in Marsabit County by 2025.
  • To strengthen the capacities of existing child protection institutions and structures and facilitate the creation of others to effectively prevent and respond to the exploitation of children in Marsabit County by September 2025. 
  • To enhance evidence-based programming, knowledge management, and advocacy in addressing child exploitation in Kenya by September 2025.
  • To facilitate coordination, collaboration, networking, and partnerships to effectively provide services to vulnerable children or victims of child abuse in Marsabit County by September 2025.

Approximately 20,000 community members, including 10,000 children and young people, will be reached through awareness campaigns. Around 200 representatives from Government agencies, 90 representatives from Executive Agencies (police and judiciary), about 50 representatives from the private sector, and various Civil Society Organizations will be equipped with the necessary tools to identify, prevent, and respond to child protection issues effectively. The project will research child trafficking and unsafe migration to inform evidence-based programming and policy and empower CSOs to combat child exploitation through lobbying and advocacy. Additionally, the project will support advocacy efforts at the County and National levels to develop, review, and implement legislation against child exploitation.

"We strive to leave a lasting imprint on child protection in Marsabit County. Through collaboration, we forge a secure and radiant path for children, upholding their rights and nurturing their growth." - Joan Kosgey, Programme Manager, SND.

“Through our collaborative efforts with various stakeholders, we aim to put an end to the alarming prevalence of child exploitation, particularly child trafficking, that rob children off their rights and hinders their development. Through this project we are determined to create a brighter future for all the children in Marsabit and Kenya in general where their voices count." Magdalene Wanza, Country Director, Terre des Hommes Netherlands.

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