The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has attributed its efficiency in handling Human Trafficking cases to recruitment and devolving professional prosecuting counsels with the capacity to interpret and implement the law properly.
Human trafficking is elevated by corruption across borders since it involves bribing with cartels in the business. ODPP has been recognized in its struggle to curb the crime by implementing the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act and securing more than 84 convictions out of 200 cases from 2014 to date. So far the office has 700 professional advocates and has phased out police prosecutors through a transition process towards professionalism and efficiency.
According to the 2015 US TIP report, Kenya is a Tier 2 Country among governments that are making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protections Act of 2000, which states that the purpose of combating human trafficking is to punish traffickers, protect victims and prevent trafficking from occurring.
During a benchmark meeting with a Ugandan Task force at ODPP Offices seeking to study ‘Best practice on protection of victims in trafficking’ today, it was revealed that the progress was contributed from the year 2011 when ODPP delinked and further devolved advocates to all 47 Counties.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, DDPP, Dorcas Oduor noted some best practices for the delegation to implement and said : ‘There is need for capacity building for investigating officers and prosecutors on new laws and incorporate other agencies such as immigration and children’s department in forming these laws.’
DDPP, Nicholas Mutuku added that Kenya has implemented new Acts of parliament such as the Victims Protection Act, 2015. “There is need for securing partners for resource mobilization for victims protection and sensitize law enforcement.”
Coordinator Anti-Human Trafficking National Task Force, Ministry of Internal Affairs Uganda, Binoga Moses lauded Kenya for training police on new laws, ODPP’s swift recruitment since delinking from the Attorney General’s Office and developing drafting a training manual as reference for police and prosecutors on ground.
By Beth Mbatia, 24th November 2016