Globally, 27 million people are said to be in modern-day slavery while about 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually. About one million children are exploited by the commercial sex industry every year, 80 per cent of victims being women and girls while 70 per cent of female victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
In all the six East African Countries, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, only three of them have enacted a legislation to combat human trafficking and modern day slavery. These are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya has the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2010, Uganda has The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009, while Tanzania has the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2008. As for Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan, none of them have a specific law addressing human trafficking but they are signatories to international treaties cubing modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
According to the 2016 Trafficking In Persons Report, only Kenya and Uganda are in Tier 2, which is a classification of countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA’s) minimum standards, (a United States of America legislation) but are making significant efforts to meet those standards.
As for Rwanda and Tanzania, they have been classified under Tier 2 Watch List, which are for countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to meet those standards AND:
a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;
b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials; or
c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
As for Burundi and South Sudan, they have been classified under Tier 3 whose classification is for the countries whose governments do not fully meet the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.