Fighting human trafficking: Edith Murogo feted for work on domestic labour

Friday June 28 2024

Edith Murogo receives her award from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on June 24, 2024. Ms Murogo was feted for her fight against human trafficking in Kenya and the region. PHOTO | COURTESY


A Kenyan has earned recognition from the US government following her work against human trafficking.

Ms Edith Murogo, the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Domestic Training and Development (CDTD), is among the recipients of 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes award.

Ms Murogo was honoured during the 20th anniversary of the TIP Report Heroes awards programme at a ceremony presided over by the Secretary of State Antony J Blinken.

“I am very excited and humbled to have received this award. It’s a very high recognition because it’s a global one,” said Ms Murogo in an interview with the Nation.

“After many years of work, the past two decades working on the frontlines of supporting survivors of human trafficking, I feel feted, and humbled by this recognition because it validates the work I am doing, the work that my team is doing and the networks and consortiums that I work in.”

Read: Human trafficking charges for Nairobi man found with 23 Ethiopians


For the past 20 years, the Department of State has honored more than 170 such champions of human dignity and decency from over 90 countries – survivors, government leaders, law enforcement officials, lawyers, social workers. 

This year, the US State Department honoured 10 heroes for their extraordinary work, including Ms Murogo from Kenya and Ms Oumou Elkairu Niare Samake from Mali, the only two from Africa to have been honoured this year.

“We have been working with domestic workers and especially those who are migrant domestic workers from rural areas. But now increasingly, we are also working with migrant and domestic workers who are heading to the Gulf,” said Ms Murogo.

 “The TIP Report Hero award is very important to us as an organisation and to me as a person. This work needs everybody. You cannot fight human trafficking alone.”

Ms Murogo has been on the frontlines of the fight against human trafficking and labor exploitation. 

She started training domestic workers more than two decades ago, where she met victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence. 

This experience prompted her to pioneer initiatives that transformed anti-trafficking efforts in Kenya.

After establishing the Centre for Domestic Training and Development (CDTD) in 2001, Edith became a leading advocate for domestic workers’ rights and lobbied the government for strengthened protections of migrant workers. 

Edith initiated training to professionalize domestic workers and convinced the government to develop the curriculum and establish a certificate program for domestic workers seeking employment abroad. 

Since opening, CDTD has assisted over 50,000 domestic workers with advocacy, skills, and knowledge to prevent them from becoming victims of trafficking.

Read: UK jails Nigerian politician over kidney theft plot

Ms Oumou, the president of the National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and Similar Practices in Mali was also feted for her fight against the vice.

“Our fight is about combating cases of human trafficking, for instance, preventing human trafficking, prosecuting arrested traffickers, and collaborating with all who intervene in the fight against trafficking persons. Together, our goal is to reach zero cases of victims of trafficking in Mali,” she said.

During the award ceremony, US Secretary Blinken released the State Department’s 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report – or the TIP Report, which examines governments’ efforts to meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards to combat human trafficking using a “3P” framework of prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing the crime.

“I also want to recognise our TIP Report Heroes who have been essential partners in this work.  Many of them have put their own safety at risk to support victims and share their stories,” said Blinken.

“The courage and persistence of survivors and advocates like these humble and inspire us all as we continue working to build a safer and more just world.”