It is estimated at least 50 girls aged between 10 and 15 are sold every week as sex workers in Nairobi and Mombasa.
A report by International Peace Institute holds that the girls mainly from Somalia are trafficked from North Eastern Kenya to Nairobi or Mombasa for prostitution and forced labor.
“Vehicles that transport miraa (khat) from Kenya to Somalia return with young girls and women who end up in brothels and some are shipped to other parts of the world,” notes the IPI report.
The trafficking does not only target young girls but it goes beyond to women, children and babies, too, are included in this trade.
This practice is said to be growing in the country with girls being sold at a fee of Kshs 60, 000 (USD 600).
The report dubbed “Termites at work: Transnational Organized Crime and State Erosion in Kenya” was complied by IPI executive director Peter Gastrow.
It held that the traffickers are connected to top Government officials and political leaders who facilitate their operation.
“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates up to 20,000 Somali and Ethiopian immigrants are smuggled inTO the country heading to South Africa every year,” holds the report.
This illegal activity is said to be generating revenues of about USD 40 million in the country annually and it is headed by a network known as Mukhali who are respected and well known figures in the society as they operate legitimate businesses.
There are about five to ten Mukhali in Northeastern and Eastleigh in Nairobi who coordinate and organize this trade.
Corrupt staff members at the UN refugee camp in Daadab which is close to the Somali border are said to have also facilitated smuggling efforts and so are staff at some foreign embassy.
The report elaborates how unscrupulous brokers pay real refugees almost Kshs100, 000 (USD 10,000) to buy their slots on the UN list of the names of people who are going to be sent to recipient countries a refugees.
“The broker in turn sells the slot on the UN application list to someone who wishes to migrate to South Africa, Europe or the USA,” says the report. However it also holds that the UN spokesperson in Nairobi denied this practice occurs.