State: Team set to probe child trafficking claims

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Samuel Chelugui.PHOTO/COURTESY

The government has mobilised a team of investigators to probe allegations of child trafficking in Nairobi.

The move follows an exposé by BBC, which unearthed a cartel involving health workers that has been stealing babies from vulnerable mothers and selling them for as low as Sh30,000 each.

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Samuel Chelugui announced yesterday a multiagency team comprising various investigative and children welfare agencies had moved in to rein in the cartel.

“We condemn the alleged stealing and sale of babies in Nairobi and in any other part of the country…I warn those who are stealing or selling the babies that they will be met with the full force of the law.

Likewise, I am warning those who are buying such children that they are equally guilty as this is a criminal offence,” he told reporters at a press briefing in his office yesterday.

 “A team of officers from the relevant government agencies has been constituted to exhaustively investigate the allegations carried out and take necessary action.

We do not condone child trafficking and we will do anything possible as a government to get to the bottom of it,” he added.

 The BBC story exposed how vulnerable women are being preyed on in Nairobi to feed a thriving black market for babies, where children being snatched from homeless mothers and sold for massive profits. 

Adoption rules

Child trafficking cases were also uncovered in street clinics and babies being stolen at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi.

In one instance, a health worker allegedly collected Sh300,000 to sell a baby that has been abandoned at the facility.

The traffickers range from vulnerable opportunists to organised criminals selling the babies for between Sh30,000 and Sh80,000. 

Some buyers, the story revealed, are barren women out to adopt children while others use them for rituals.

The CS called for due legal procedures of adoption, saying anything contrary is criminal. 

“The government is committed to safety and security of all children and would like to inform Kenyans who may not have children of their own that there are legal procedures for adopting children,” he said.

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