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Bus conductors in Kenya get involved in protecting possible victims of trafficking

It was already late in the afternoon when Rashid (not his real name), a bus conductor, spotted a distressed-looking young girl standing alone at the bus station on Mombasa Island where all the buses plying the Lunga Lunga to Mombasa route terminate. At first, he did not give it much thought and proceeded with his journey to transport his passengers from the island to Mombasa town. But when Rashid came back, he was startled to find that the girl was still at the very spot where he had left her. It was getting late.

Carefully, the bus conductor initiated a conversation with her. It turned out the 13-year-old girl from Lunga Lunga had been promised a job in Mombasa, but her would-be employer had not shown up. Rashid assumed the ‘job offer’ was part of a human trafficking scheme and that the girl was going to be exploited. He called Trace Kenya. An organisation active in combating human trafficking and assisting victims.

Background

The Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme funded by the European Union and Germany aims at enabling national authorities and institutions to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration, and to effectively address and reduce human trafficking in the Horn of Africa region. The programme also improves assistance to and protection of victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants. BMM supported Trace Kenya and the Candle of Hope Foundation in providing sensitisation training for 96 actors from the public transport sector, producing the information material and running the awareness campaigns.