The Counter Human Trafficking Trust – East Africa (CHTEA) has been donated a three-storey building after Judie Kaberia, former Gender Lead of JHR’s Canada World Program in Kenya and now ED of Association of Media Women In Kenya (AMWIK), wrote about the organization’s severely under-resourced efforts to provide refuge to 120 Ugandan women who were trafficked into sexual slavery and economic exploitation in Nairobi.
After coming to the city in the hopes of employment during the pandemic, these women were denied pay for their work, subjected to physical and sexual abuse, and forced to live in an open field in the Majengo slum after their employers terminated their ‘jobs’. CHTEA was able to put a roof over the women’s heads but lacked the financial means to provide even a basic standard of living.
In her article in Capital FM, Judie described the living conditions of CHTEA’s women thus: “It is a safe haven because it has a roof, walls and a door – that can shield them from the cold nights and sex predators. With no bedding other than a thin woven mat, the girls lie side-by-side in groups of eights or tens, close to each other for warmth and also to fit into the tiny rooms.”
After the article was published, a local organization offered to donate a three-storey building to provide safe accommodation for CHTEA’s beneficiaries. Another supporter reached out to Judie to donate funds worth USD2000, after which CHTEA received further funds and houseware worth USD2000.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Judie has been creating awareness through research and reporting on how the pandemic has heightened the existing risk of women and girls becoming victims of human trafficking for sex exploitation, child labour, and domestic servitude. She has worked with civil society organizations and government agencies to rescue and counsel a huge number of young girls looking for safe houses and shelters during the pandemic, and has advocated for the urgent need to create new rescue shelters for victims of human trafficking.