Kenya’s government has ordered an investigation into the theft and sale of babies following a BBC investigation into the black market trade.
The announcement came after BBC Africa Eye revealed children were stolen to order from a Nairobi public hospital.
A hospital official used legitimate paperwork to take custody of a two-week old boy before selling him directly to an undercover reporter.
A government minister said the culprits would face the “full force of the law”.
Addressing a packed press conference in Nairobi, Labour and Social Protection Minister Simon Chelugui said that both the sellers and buyers were equally culpable.
Flanked by top police officials, Mr Chelugui promised a thorough investigation into the issue.
The investigation by BBC Africa Eye uncovered a trade in children stolen from vulnerable mothers living on the street, as well as the existence of illegal clinics dotted around Nairobi where babies are sold for as little as £300.
The investigation also revealed corruption at Mama Lucy Kibaki, a public hospital in Nairobi. Fred Leparan, a clinical social worker at the hospital, facilitated the sale of an abandoned two-week old baby boy to undercover reporters, later accepting 300,000 shillings (£2,000) in cash.
Both Mr Leparan and Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital declined requests to comment on the investigation’s findings.
Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, the labour minister, Mr Chelugui, also acknowledged that improvements needed to be made to some of Kenya’s child protection services.
There are no reliable statistics on child trafficking in the East African state, but a non-governmental organisation, Missing Child Kenya, said it had been involved in nearly 600 cases in the past three years.