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Theresa May lauds Kenya’s efforts in fight against modern slavery and human trafficking

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Former British Prime Minister Theresa May has commended Kenya’s efforts in stemming modern slavery and human trafficking.

May, who has been in the country chairing meetings of state and non-state actors on the eradication of the vices, however said a lot more still needs to be done to free millions of people who are still in bondage.

“It will be good for Kenya to take a lead role in the region in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. I am encouraged by the steps taken to protect vulnerable women and girls who form the majority of the people in slavery,” said May.

The former Premier is chairing the Global Commision on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking which aims to exert high-level political leverage to restore political momentum towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7.

The particular SDG seeks to eradicate forced labour, and end modern slavery and human trafficking.

“In the end, we want governments to not only pass laws but also work to implement them to ensure perpetrators are held to account,” said May.

Speaking to KBC Digital in Nairobi, Theresa May said she understands the political environment in which the Commission operates, but it was incumbent upon decision-makers to deal decisively with human trafficking which is estimated to rake in billions of shillings annually.

“It will be impossible to completely eradicate these problems by 2030, but we strongly believe that the steps we are taking now will contribute immensely to the commitment already shown by all partners.”  She observed.

May said technology is increasingly being used to entice people to take up jobs abroad, many of whom end up in slavery.

“We are working with tech giants to understand what is already being done to identify, flag, and deal with this unethical use of the internet,” says May.

More than 4 million Kenyans work abroad, with 200,000 of them in the Middle East. Some of those who have ventured out and sought the opportunities have complained of being compelled to work in hostile environments. Many migrant workers have also lost their lives in some of these countries under mysterious circumstances.

“Today more and more people are becoming vulnerable to modern slavery, trafficking, and forced labour due to several global challenges, including climate change and the war in Ukraine, yet at the same time I fear that modern slavery has fallen down the global political agenda,” says May.

Edward Kabasa
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