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Britain steps up war on child abuse in Kenya

COUNTIES
By CYRUS OMBATI | October 21st 2014

Kenya: Britons seeking to work in Kenya in children related fields will have to get clearance from their home country starting January next year.

According to Hank Cole Deputy Director of UK Border Policing Command of  the National Crimes Agency, the steps are meant to tame child sexual exploitation incidences.

"We work with national and international law enforcement agencies to pursue British suspects, whenever they are located to safeguard children and prosecute offenders," said Cole.

He made the remarks on Tuesday at the British High Commission in Nairobi a day after trial against a Simon Harris British man accused of indecent assault against Kenyan children commenced a Birmingham Crown Court on Monday.

Cole said NCA is working to establish an International Child Protection Network, made up of professionals who are able to share best practices with regards to child protection and implement International Child Protection Certificate, to better protect children and provide an early warning system, so that the authorities can intervene immediately when children are at risk.

He added the problem facing Kenya on children abuse are similar to those of Britain hence need to work mutually to protect them.

NCA officers, the British High Commission, Kenya authorities and NGOs are working together to protect vulnerable children from travelling British child sexual offenders.

The measures will include safeguarding children, which is the number one priority and prosecuting offenders wherever they are, as well as issuing clearance certificates to British nationals coming to work in Kenya.

Harris 51 is facing trial for attempted rape between May 2004 and December 2004 and non-penetrative sex in May 2013 on a boy aged between 13 and 15, and a further attempted rape of a different boy under the age of 16 between 2003 and 2004.

The crimes are alleged to have been committed in Kenya when he was the director of the charity VAE; he also runs a charity organization called Gilgil Trust.

Following the incidence Cole said in partnership with Kenyan authorities an International child network protection will be formed to give a task-force approach in combating child sexual abuse.

On international drug trafficking syndicates, Cole said Kenya was acting as a major transit point for heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe.

He said that NCA will continue providing support and intelligence necessary to combat drug trafficking.

"The problem of drug trafficking and consumption is global and that is why we are working with authorities in this region to ensure it is stopped," he said.


 

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