Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has trained duty bearers in Tana River on the rights of migrants, as it emerged that the County is a migratory route.
KNCHR with funding from the European Union, is implementing a Better Migration Movement (BMM) program in the country, with a focus on duty bearers to use the human rights approach in handling migrants.
Alice Mbuvi, KNCHR Senior Human Resource officer, said that through the program they have trained duty bearers in Mombasa, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita-Taveta, and Tana River counties.
“In this project, we are creating awareness on migrants’ rights. We want people to understand the rights of migrants, especially the migrants themselves and the people who are responsible for protecting those human rights,” said Mbuvi.
“The aim is to help us identify and differentiate the kind of migrant we have, because we have regular and irregular migrants,” she noted.
Regular migrants are those who follow the law, she elucidated, but there is irregular who mostly cases of human trafficking or smuggling.
“We focus a lot on those who are not legal, especially human trafficking because it violates human rights,’’ she further revealed.
“We want these duty bearers to be able to identify whether this is a victim or a criminal because smuggling is a criminal activity. Trafficking has a victim who needs to be helped not to be arrested and jailed, that is what we are telling duty bearers,” she added.
The KNCHR officer urged the duty bearers to use the best human practice approach in handling migrants instead of victimizing them.
Through the referrals meetings with duty bearers, the Tana River was identified as a migratory route used by migrants from countries like Ethiopia and Somalia en route to South Africa.
“Migration is valid. We have discovered new routes like Tana River. I didn’t know that they are routes for smuggling from Wajir-Garissa then to Tana River on your way to South Africa,” said Mbuvi.
By Sadik Hassan