HOW CAN WE END HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MODERN SLAVERY TOGETHER?
By Sina Aping & Christine Schmitz
In our first days as interns at HAART Kenya, we had the opportunity to be part of the final
preparations for the Gala Night honoring the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2019. We
were able to gain various insights into the collaborative work in the field of human trafficking and
to establish contact with people engaging in the anti-trafficking community in Nairobi.
The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is celebrated annually on the 30th of July. It is a
day to reflect on the eradication of human trafficking globally. The Blue Heart Campaign started
by the United Nations Against Drugs and Organized Crimes strives to conduct campaigns
annually on a united theme. This year, the theme was on highlighting the importance of
In Kenya, counter-trafficking stakeholders participated in a gala night in honour of the annual
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. The event was
organised through Stop the Traffic- Kenya (STTK) and some of its members – Candle of Hope,
Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) and Awareness Against Human Trafficking
(HAART). The main aim of the event was to bring together different stakeholders from the wide
field of fighting human trafficking and giving opportunity to network therefore adressing SDG 8.7
(eradiction of human trafficking) and SDG 17 (partnership).
The two of us were closely working together with Michelle from STTK, who was the main
Firstly we attended a meeting, where we were introduced to the rest of the organizing team and
got a detailed overview on the upcoming event and our possibilities to support. The team was
welcoming and at the first meeting there was time for our questions, opinions and suggestions.
Ongoing our assignment was to write up and design different papers. Starting with layouting the
invitations, over helping with the concept note and writing our first press statement as well as
conducting a fact sheet about human trafficking for the guests.
On the day itself, we handed out goodie bags, registered guests and supported the main
organizers with the program execution but also had the chance to enjoy dinner and connect with
The gala brought together representatives from different arms of the government, religious
leaders, private sector partners as well as civil society organisations (CSOs). They all were
invited to discuss, celebrate the work accomplished in the last year and to share potential points
for future collaboration. The focus was on enhancing cooperation among stakeholders with the
specific aims of encouraging more cooperation between the anti-human trafficking movement
and private sectors as well as advocating for more government support in counter-trafficking
work. Therefore, the gala dinner included different keynote speeches as well as a panel
discussion on improving cooperation among stakeholders.
The participants agreed that collaboration among stakeholders was not an option but one of the
only ways of curbing trafficking in persons. There was agreement on the need for a
multi-sectoral approach to bridge the existing gaps which include: lack of implementation of
existing laws and policies, lack of services for supporting victims of trafficking, lack of data on
human trafficking to encourage evidence-based practice and lack of coordination among
stakeholders and government.
In summary, we had an informative experience and got a wide-ranging insight in the work of the
different stakeholders fighting human trafficking. But we can also state that from our so-called
western-European influenced perspective we faced some challenges concerning event planning
and difficulties in communication. The short-term nature of being involved in the final
preparations for such an event as well as being new to the working environment of nairobi
affected our tasks.
Nevertheless we did learn a lot about how like-minded organisations as HAART collaborate in
combating human trafficking and how a gala event can be prepared and conducted locally.
When reflecting the gala afterwards the question arose if the main aim of networking was
achieved as planned. At the end of scheduled program the networking was supposed to
happen. At this time -as far as we could tell- the most of the remaining guests where those from
the CSOs, already working together.
Overall we are thankful to have been part of the organizing team of this event, as it tought us a
lot about event managment and human trafficking in east african countries.