Kenya Airways launches Trafficking in Persons Policy Campaign

Kenya Airways has launched its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Policy and Public Awareness Campaign in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC).

(From left to Right) Hon. Florence Bore Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour & Social Protection alongside Hon Kipchumba Murkomen, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Roads And Transport during the Kenya Airways launch of trafficking in persons policy and public awareness campaign event at four points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport. Image: Edelman

The fully endorsed Trafficking in Persons Policy came into effect in January 2023, outlines the airlines stand and actions against Human Trafficking. The Public Awareness and Outreach campaign is designed to educate Kenya Airways staff and the public about the misconceptions, the realities of human trafficking as well as how to identify and report cases of Human Trafficking.

Kenya Airways chief financial officer, Hellen Mwariri Mathuka, said “Kenya Airways connects Kenya to the rest of Africa and the World through its vast network. This network and its connectivity should only be used for good and to advance the development of Africa. We therefore stand against all forms of human trafficking, fully support the elimination of the exploitation of human beings and modern slavery and will not condone human trafficking in any part of our organisation. We have invested in capacity building programs to give our employees the tools to identify, and report suspected cases of human trafficking because we recognise that our employees at the airport and on flights are uniquely positioned to look out for this type of crime.”

While speaking as the Chief Guest at the event, Hon Kipchumba Murkomen, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Roads And Transport commented added: “I wish to commend our national carrier Kenya Airways for the step they have taken to combat trafficking in persons. The airline, which was part of the specialised interagency workshop on combatting Trafficking in Person (TIP) organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) in 2021, has developed action points that have protected its systems from being misused to facilitate the transportation of human trafficking victims.I wish to congratulate Kenya Airways for setting the bar high as the Pride of Africa.”

2021 Global Estimates indicate that 49.6 million people are in modern slavery on any given day, according to a 2022 IOM’s report on Global Estimates of Modern Slavery Forced Labour and Forced Marriage.

Speaking at the launch, Hon. Florence Bore Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour & Social Protection said: “Due to the global and criminal nature of trafficking in persons, prevention and response efforts require multi-disciplinary approach within and across sectors and borders. Transport is one of the important sectors in the fight against trafficking. The launch of the Kenya Airways Policy on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is a clear testament of Kenya Airways’ commitment, as a key player in the airline industry, to strengthen our combined efforts in combatting trafficking in persons in the country and across the globe. It is no doubt that, the training and creation of awareness among the KQ airline staff, provided for in the policy, will build their capacity to proactively play their role in the fight against trafficking in persons.”

In December 2021, UNODC combined the expertise of two of its programmes – the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme and the Airport Communication Project (ARCOP) to organise a specialised inter-agency workshop on combatting Trafficking In Person (TIP) at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The workshop brought together officers based at JKIA from police, immigration, airport authority, customs, prosecutors, and representatives of Kenya Airways. After four days of interactive sessions, the participants adopted recommendations, including for Kenya Airways to develop actions to prevent and combat TIP.

Speaking on the initiative, Maria Temesvari, Deputy Regional Representative for Eastern Africa at UNODC added: “Following our UNODC training, we were impressed by Kenya Airways' efforts to fight human trafficking. We are honoured to work with Kenya Airways today to educate the traveling public and Kenya Airways employees. I wish to congratulate Kenya Airways on the launch of their policy on trafficking in persons and acknowledge its role to further enhance the Government of Kenya’s capacity in combating trafficking and increasing the number of detections and investigations of this crime.”