National security implications of human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Kenya (2009-2019)
Nzioka, Peter Samson
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Using the Rational Choice Variant of Gary Becker as its conceptual tool of analysis, this study sets out to; firstly examine and analyze factors underlying the increase in human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Kenya. Secondly, to examine and analyze the implications of human trafficking and migrant smuggling on Kenya’s National Security. And thirdly, to proffer research-based policy alternatives to address the same. A descriptive research design consisting of both qualitative and quantitative approaches are converged to operationalize this study. The study was done in Kenya with the focus being five entry/exit points for migrants namely JKIA, Busia, Lungalunga, Moyale, and Namanga. The choice of these points of entry/exit was guided by Kenya’s categorization as a source, transit hub, and destination point for trafficked and smuggled persons. To obtain the sample size, a purposive sampling technique was employed to identify participants for this study. A sample size of 120 security personnel was used. Both primary and secondary data was collected using a set of questionnaire and interview schedule respectively. Quantitative data was analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies, while content analysis was used in analyzing qualitative data. This was done by centralizing the analysis around certain themes. The study contends that the increase in human trafficking and migrant smuggling is a function of the convergence of various negative and positive interests of human traffickers, migrant smugglers, and their victims. These convergences also underpin national security threats resident in multiple security sectors. This study recommends that; a review of the legal framework on human trafficking and migrant smuggling to make these crimes capital offences should be done; a specialized Anti-human trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit within the Multi-Agency framework tasked with the enforcement and implementation of counter-trafficking policies and regulations be established; security surveillance and patrols at the points of entry and exit should be intensified; reporting of cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling be made easier by providing toll-free anonymous call numbers; anti-corruption mechanisms at points of entry and exit be integrated; regular training of government officials on the morphing nature of human trafficking and migrant smuggling trends be carried out; and, vulnerable persons in the society should be empowered through equitable distribution of wealth and creation of sustainable employment opportunities to alleviate poverty.