Human trafficking is a booming venture on the Kenyan coast.
According to a Thomson Reuters Foundation report, Sh60,000 is the bait that land Asian teenage girls into modern slavery in Mombasa’s suburbs.
The poor girls are promised a paradise fool of luxury in a land some do not know anything about.
Unfortunately, when they land in Kenya and are sneaked into Mombasa and other urban centres, the reality dawns on them. They are denied even basic rights despite satisfying Bollywood-style dance lovers and minting money for their bosses.
“I was told that being escorted everywhere by the driver, not leaving the flat except for work, and not having my passport or phone, was for my safety,” Sheela, who did not want to give her real name, told Reuters at a safe house in Mombasa’s Shanzu suburb.
The promise of being cultural dancers is turned into sex slavery. They suffer in silence.
“They are offered jobs as cultural dancers and given around one month’s salary in advance. But when they arrive, their movements are restricted and they have to do erotic and sexually explicit dancing - and often have to have sex with clients,” an official from Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) told the Foundation on condition of anonymity.
Victims have horrifying tales. They have reasons to hate Kenya and promise never to return after being rescued from the inhuman slave masters.
“This whole thing has been terrible. I should never have come - it was a mistake. All I want to do is go home. I never come to Kenya again.” Standard quotes Sonia, 24, who did not want to give her real name, the day before she left Kenya.