7 Shocking Truths about Slavery in 2015 – Part 2

In the second installment of this seven-part series on slavery, you will learn about the realities of sex trafficking and how one team of humanitarian aid workers are working to stop it.

 

Sex Slaves: More than Half of All Trafficking Victims

While the spread of HIV/AIDS remains one of the most devastating issues still present in Kenya today, it is no surprise that a sex crisis in Kenya also runs through the countries veins. Even more blood boiling, however, is the nearly 15,000 underage girls, the majority from rural inland areas of Kenya, who practice prostitution – a form of modern day slavery. This is a result of extreme poverty and lack of education that Habiba Mengesha, one of GHNI-Kenya’s National Leaders, is working to reverse.

Habiba and her team are in the process of developing a Women’s & Girls’ Empowerment Center in the Isiolo area, where prostitution and extreme poverty have been a cyclical problem for years. While the team has been successful in reducing the spread of AIDS/HIV in these rural villages, the consequences of prostitution remain devastating.

“Often the women and girls in our villages find themselves in commercial sex work after their husbands have left or died, and school drop-outs are high from prostitution-related pregnancies. Many of those young mothers then struggle to feed their children,” Habiba tells us.

This is not unfamiliar in many other developing nations. Facing desperate times, families will do just about anything to find a step up to a better life. Globally, 58% of all trafficking victims are subject to sexual exploitation in forms ranging from pornography and stripping to prostitution and sex tourism.

Our field leaders have seen villagers exploited in these ways time and time again and have realized that prevention is key – teaching them the signs of trafficking, the long-term repercussions, and empowering them in alternative forms of income generation. This is why Habiba and her team are working so hard to birth this center for the women and girls there.

By learning practical services such as sewing, baking, secretarial work, and small business skills, they will become employable in a safe and sustainable field, as well as empowering them to see that they are worth more than just their sexuality, and create lasting change for themselves and their children.

A great thanks goes out to the Compassion Beyond Ourselves giving circle for a grant that will help make this center a reality. You, too, can join them in helping combat slavery all over the world!

Connect with the whole 7 Shocking Truths of Slavery in 2015 series.