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Child Labor in Kenya. By Sonya Das, Nolan Fahey, Vittorio Orlandi and Alicia Zhang. General Statistics. At the present, 3 million minors are enslaved in Kenya 10% of these children are under ten years of age 60% of the workforce in the central plantations in the Central Province are children

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Child labor in kenya

Child Labor in Kenya

By Sonya Das, Nolan Fahey, Vittorio Orlandi and Alicia Zhang

General statistics
General Statistics

  • At the present, 3 million minors are enslaved in Kenya

    • 10% of these children are under ten years of age

  • 60% of the workforce in the central plantations in the Central Province are children

  • In 1999, 3.5 million children aged between 6 and 14 were child laborers

    • That’s 11.4% of the population

  • 25% of the agricultural workers in Kenya are children

The work they do
The Work They Do

  • Most of the work is agricultural

    • They work on tea, coffee, sugar, and rice plantations

      • Here they are constantly exposed to harmful pesticides as shown on the arm of the boy in the picture

  • Many children will work all day on farms and plantations

    • Even those who go to school will go to work after their classes have finished

How they were enslaved
How They Were Enslaved

  • Poor parents give their children away for money

    • They hope for a better life

  • Children with no parents are especially vulnerable

Things already being done
Things Already Being Done

  • Donations are being collected

    • Without awareness, though, little money is made

  • Other than this, very few are seriously pushing for justice

    • The corruption in the government doesn’t allow for any one politician to make serious changes

  • Serious reforms need to be made and international support needs to be raised

People already helping
People Already Helping

  • Solitary Center

    • Works to give children education who were forced to work on coffee plantations and supports the families

  • Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union

    • Gives financial aid for education

  • Stolen Childhoods

    • Organization making a documentary to raise awareness

    • They also take in donations to help enslaved children

Our action plan prevention
Our Action Plan: Prevention

  • Our action plan involves both ways to prevent child labor and ways to help those already being abused

  • Prevention is much more difficult to institute because the number one reason children are sold or given into slavery is poverty

  • 60% of all Kenyans live below the poverty line. Most families live on less than one dollar a day so they need kids to help earn money.

    • To prevent more child slaves in Kenya we should give more money to the families in need.

    • More fundraisers should be made and programs to actually go over there and help struggling Kenyans.

  • It is extremely difficult to simply eliminate poverty in children but with awareness and proper funds being raised, it is possible to make a difference

Prevention continued
Prevention (Continued)

  • Another huge reason there are so many child laborers in Kenya is because the children are vulnerable

  • Many have no parents and no where to go and live

    • This makes them easy targets for traffickers

  • Instituting foster-home organizations and orphanages would ensure that children are cared for instead of neglected, and that they will not be abused in the future

Our action plan protection
Our Action Plan: Protection

  • Many parents take their children out of school is because they can not afford it. Public schools could be built so that more kids are able to go to school.

  • Orphaned children and children found on streets are vulnerable to trafficking. Adoption agencies or shelters could be made so that the children can be safe from the traffickers.

  • The government has been working with NGOs to shelter and rehabilitate victims

  • The Ministry of Gender and local NGOs work together to operate a 24-hour hotline for victims

Our action plan prosecution
Our Action Plan: Prosecution

  • Many laws have been passed to put a stop to slavery such as the Employment Act which outlawed forced labor. Despite several measures, though, reports of human trafficking continue. The government does not do much to end the trafficking.

  • In response the following was done:

    • The Kenyan Police Training College trained the police on anti-trafficking and child protection.

    • A recruitment agency that was reportedly illegally selling Kenyan immigrants to foreign countries was shut down by the Ministry of Labor.

  • Also, in July 2010, the Counter-Trafficking Persons Bill was signed by the president into law. It prohibits and outlaws trafficking as well as increases the previous sentence for violators.

  • The problem of corruption in the government is one that is very difficult to fix and yet one that needs to be solved if child trafficking is to be stopped

    • Our solution is to have governments from other countries or large organizations like the UN, investigate the government system and ensure that it is just


  • NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) could also raise money and institute public schools in Kenya

  • Implementing public schools and education would be a big step towards liberating the children of Kenya

  • Making education free would help ensure that a greater majority of children participate, thus making them less likely to fall victim to kidnappers and traffickers

    • This is supported by evidence from 2003, when, after public schooling was made free, 1.5 million students showed up on the first day of school

Importance of education
Importance of Education

  • It is important for Kenyan children to go to school so that they may eventually work in more intellectually based jobs

  • This allows them opportunities for the future so they won’t be stuck in poverty and more importantly, there kids won’t be passed up to traffickers

  • Even for people like Margaret Basigwa, though, head of the National Council for Children’s Services (NCSS), it is hard to make a change

    • She herself admitted in 2003 that “about 1.9 million [children] of ages five to 17 have not yet been able to access free primary education because they are busy working” (Mulama).

    • Once again, we believe support from outside the country is essential to putting an end to this problem

Resources ngos
Resources (NGOs)

  • Non-government organizations such as ANPPCAN and KPAWU receive most of their funds from donations

    • Spreading awareness of the issue and the organization increases donations

  • Volunteer workers help directly in Kenya

    • Building homes and necessities for the city

    • Educating children and adults in school systems

An example of spreading awareness: a magazine for youth education educates kids and parents.

Resources government
Resources (Government)

  • With a centralized tax system set by the government, the Kenya can help fund:

    • Labor saving inventions for the plantations

    • Public education

    • Centralized centers in villages

    • Incentives for landowners to not use child labor

Kenyan president MwaiKibaki gives a speech

Expansion of public education
Expansion of Public Education

  • Though primary education in Kenya is free, there are not enough facilities or resources to teach all of the children

    • Qualified teachers coming to work in Kenya would also be a huge help

  • Despite the free education, many children in rural areas were seen attending school for part of the day, then leaving to work in the fields to make money

    • Almost 20% of the children attending the schools were orphans, and needed to support themselves as well as educate

A crowded primary school classroom

International rating
International Rating

  • Kenya is rated by the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report as a Tier 2 Country

  • A Tier 2 Country is defined as a country that does not fully comply with the set standards but that is trying to make significant change

  • Reports by the US Department of State show that Kenya’s efforts to combat human trafficking have been reinforced and that they are making an impact

International assistance
International Assistance

  • Use resources and assistance from international organizations such as the United Nations

    • The added assistance could help keep the plan organized through its execution

  • Assistance could also be granted from more stable and less corrupt governments in close proximity to Kenya

Action plan summary
Action Plan Summary

  • Prevent child labor by redirecting government funds and by NGOs and NPOs raising money

  • Increase technology and research in order to lower the demand for manual labor

  • Protect the children by creating more orphanages and adoption agencies

    • More educational facilities would also ensure better education for the children so that they could have a better future

  • Even though there are organizations and laws against child labor, they are inefficient with all the corruption in the government

    • We need to raise awareness by using the media

  • Prosecute the traffickers and corrupt persons in the government

Summary of resources
Summary of Resources

  • Centralized tax system instituted by the government which could raise money

    • This money would be used for public education, investigation of illegal labor institutions, and to improve technology

  • NGOs and NPOs could raise money and awareness in different countries

  • International aid from other countries with stable governments and the UN to supply resources and volunteers

    • Volunteers would be needed to teach and help build facilities


A worker with her younger sister on a plantation. Both are in contact with chemicals (above).

A whole family sorting coffee beans


A 13 year old coffee plantation worker (above)

A boy gathers spilled beans to bring back to a sorting center (above)

Works cited
Works Cited

  • "Child Labor in Agriculture." International Labor Organization. International Labor Organization, 2010. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "Child Labor in Kenya." Irights. International Labor Rights Fund, 2003. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "Coffee Worker." Photograph. First Last. 2003. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "Crowded Classroom." Photograph. Evoke. First Last. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.Mulama, Joyce. "Kenya lacks the resources to save enslaved children, severely abused and excluded from primary education - Siriel-Media." Siriel-Media. N.p., 4 Nov. 2004. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. <>.

  • "Magazine Cover." Photograph. First Last. 2003. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "MwaiKibaki." Photograph. Nuxur: Media Network. First Last. 2011. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "UNCHR The"Photo Galleries: Coffee Plantation Archives." Untitled Document. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <

  • "Trafficking in Persons Report 2011 Tier Placements." U.S. Department of State. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <

Works cited continued
Works Cited (Continued)

  • United States Department of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Kenya, 27 June 2011, available at: [accessed 27 October 2011]

  • UN Refugee Agency." Refworld The Leader in Refugee Decision Support. N.p., 25 December 2011. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <,,USDOL,,KEN,456d621e2,48caa47941,0.html>.

  • "UNCHR The UN Refugee Agency." Refworld The Leader in Refugee Decision Support. N.p., 25 December 2011. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <,USDOS,,KEN,4a4214ae32,0.html>.

  • Wax, Emily. "Too Many Brains Pack Kenya." Irights. International Labor Rights Fund, 2003. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.

  • "Worst Forms of Child Labour - Kenya: Global March Against Child Labour." Global March Against Child Labour: From Exploitation to Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2011. <

  • "Worst Forms of Child Labor Data." GlobalMarch. Global March, n.d. Web. 25 Oct 2011. <>.