US charity under probe in Kenya for alleged child trafficking

from: afp

Tue Nov 6, 3:07 AM ET

 

A Kenyan judge has ordered an investigation of a US children's charity accused in a civil suit of exploiting and trafficking children, a court official said Tuesday.

High Court Judge Benjamin Kubo on Monday extended an order first issued on October 9 barring Kids Alive Kenya from operating in the country until the suit filed against them has been resolved, said the official.

The court also ordered the government's children ministry to present a report on the organisation's activities in Kenya on Thursday.

Kids Alive Kenya is a local affiliate of the Christian, US-based Kids Alive International.

Two organisations, a lawyers' group called the Chambers of Justice, and Gospel Bible Baptist Mission, which used to collaborate with Kids International, launched the civil suit against the charity.

They accuse them of illegally and indecently exposing identities, images, health status and social circumstances of Kenyan children in its website advertisements in a bid to raise funds -- as well as trafficking them.

"It is suspected of exploiting children to raise funds, yet no funds have ever been delivered to children's homes in the past 17 months," said Isaiah Mandala, a lawyer representing the two plaintiffs.

Mandala said they were also concerned about the whereabouts of three children missing from children's homes linked with the group.

The charity's actions amounted to "a serious negation of best interest of children's principles enunciated in Section 4 of the (Kenya's) Children Act and UN Convention on Rights of the Child," he added.

Kids Alive is partnered with local churches and groups that run about 10 children homes in Kenya. It operates in 14 other countries around the world, according to information posted on its website.

The motto posted on its website reads: "Christian care for children at risk."

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