Thousands of Kenyans, including children, are kept as “sex slaves” or are in other forms of forced labour, the US State Department has said.
And since the government is seen to be inadequately addressing a “considerable human-trafficking problem,” the State Department on Wednesday warned that the country could eventually be hit with US sanctions.
Kenya has been placed on this “watch list” for the second consecutive year.
Children are “exploited in prostitution throughout Kenya, including in the sex tourism industry at the coast, khat [miraa] cultivation areas in eastern, and near Nyanza’s gold mines,” the US global Trafficking in Persons report of 2013 says.
Kenyans who travel to the Middle East in search of employment “are at times exploited in domestic servitude, massage parlours and brothels, or forced into manual labour.
The 188-nation survey also shows that gay and bisexual Kenyan men are lured from universities with promises of overseas jobs, only to be forced into prostitution in Qatar and the UAE.
The State Department includes Kenya in a grouping of 44 countries that do “not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” but are said to be making “significant efforts to do so.”