This comes as the world marks this year’s Slavery and Human trafficking awareness month in January.
Human rights activists have a larm concerns over the increase in cases of child trafficking in Coastal region of Kenya.
Mr. Paul Adhoch, Executive Director of Trace Kenya confirmed that more than 20,000 children are being trafficked every year at the Coast with Tana River having the highest number of victims in the region.
“Tana River has been used for long by traffickers, traffickers from Mombasa and Kilifi pass through Tana River to Garissa and vice versa.” said Mr Adhoch.
Mr Adhoch said girls have remain the main target by human traffickers who lure them easily with promises of getting them high paying jobs and careers in hotels, salons and domestic services.
Mr. Adhoch said his organization haave began to sensitize communities particularly in Tana River County on the need of parents and guardians to be cautious and keen on their children by making sure they are not recruited to join terrorism.
“Rate of child trafficking in Tana River is high, some of the underage girls have been employed as house helps while others being married off at their tender age. For boys they are sent by their parents or guardians to take cattle for grazing while others are recruited to join Al- Shabaab”. the activist said.
However, Mr Adhoch added that the main challenge they are facing currently is lack of data on human trafficking in several counties in Coast region.
He said there is need for government to come up with a program that would enhance research and data collections on cases of human trafficking at the county level and Coast region in general.
He further called on the state and non-state actors to help communities in curbing human trafficking.