First Person: ‘I’m not old enough to be a woman’ says trafficked teen

2 months ago 30
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Some 1 1000 victims of quality trafficking person been identified successful Burundi since 2017, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Elisabeth (not her existent name) is 1 of the fortunate ones. She survived the ordeal and received assistance from IOM to instrumentality location to Burundi.

She told her communicative for the archetypal clip to IOM staff, up of World Day Against Trafficking successful Persons which is marked annually connected 30 July.

“My parents separated earlier I was born, and my mum remarried portion large with me. But her caller hubby told her to permission maine with my grandparents due to the fact that I wasn’t his existent daughter.

Elisabeth was a young miss  erstwhile   she was raped by a man.

© IOM 2021/Lauriane Wolfe

Elisabeth was a young miss erstwhile she was raped by a man.

Life was hard with my grandparents, determination was nary nutrient to eat. I decided to permission and enactment with a friend. There I heard astir a pistillate successful the colony who could instrumentality maine crossed the borderline into Tanzania wherever I could work.

I knew I wouldn’t get immoderate wealth there, but it meant nutrient connected the array and a bed. The pistillate who brought maine from Burundi started to inquire maine to bargain bananas from the neighbours’ properties and threatened to footwear maine retired if I refused.

Another household successful the colony said I could spell to their friend’s location to enactment instead.

New ‘husband’

I was taken to a caller household who introduced maine to a antheral who I was told was to beryllium my caller husband. I refused and told them that ‘I did not travel present to marry’. They laughed and took maine to a barroom nearby. I went on arsenic I had obscurity to go, but I did not drink.

We came backmost astatine night, and they told maine I could slumber successful the man’s location adjacent door. When I refused, they suggested 1 of their girls could travel me, but it was a trap. The antheral asked the miss to get him a brew and alternatively she locked the doorway from the outside, leaving maine unsocial with him.

‘Even if you garbage to wed me, I already paid your dowry successful beers tonight’ helium told me.

‘I’m not aged capable to beryllium a woman’ I told him. I was 11 oregon 12 years aged astatine the time.

People ‘did nothing’

Now 16 and excessively  aged  for superior   school, Elisabeth is learning however  to sew.

© IOM 2021/Lauriane Wolfe

Now 16 and excessively aged for superior school, Elisabeth is learning however to sew.

I tried to combat arsenic hard arsenic I could, but I grew weak. I screamed but no-one did anything. People could perceive and knew what was happening, but they did nothing. Eventually, helium overpowered maine and past raped me.

After raping me, helium told maine that I was inactive a child, and threw maine extracurricular to sleep. I had immoderate symptom aft the act, but it passed. This is the archetypal clip I person told anyone. I was frightened to accidental thing before.

I went from location to house, staying with whoever would instrumentality maine in. Some refused my connection of home enactment due to the fact that I was a minor. Others offered maine 30,000 Tanzanian Shillings ($13) per period but I ne'er received it.

After raping me, helium told maine that I was inactive a child, and threw maine extracurricular to sleep.

Each clip I asked for it they would reply ‘later’, ‘another time’ oregon ‘how bash you deliberation we wage for your nutrient and bed? That’s already money’.

From unfortunate to survivor

Eventually immoderate neighbours called an relation called Kiwohede that helps children similar me. They took maine into their structure until IOM came and helped maine to find my household and bring maine location to Burundi.

I americium 16 years aged now, truthful excessively aged to participate superior school, but I americium receiving grooming successful dressmaking until I americium of ineligible property to work. I anticipation that I tin beryllium truly bully astatine it and go an autarkic idiosyncratic with this profession”.

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