Kuwaiti Human Trafficking Survivor Exposes Hardships

By: Happy Arnold Soko

A Girl trafficked to Kuwait has lamented that black people faced discrimination at the detention center where she spent 3 months after escaping from her master.

Juliana (not her real name) arrived in Kuwait hoping to start her new career in the hotel industry; instead she was found trafficked into a world of torture and slavery where she worked as a maid.

In an exclusive interview with The Malawi Star on Monday the victim described her return home as a relief from the hell her life went through during the five months she spent in Kuwait.

She explained in an interview, “Being black was a crime at the detention center in Kuwait. All black people were sleeping on the first floor of the storage building. The second and third floor of the building were occupied by girls from Asia, Europe and elsewhere. We spent most nights without electricity, while our friends on the top floors had electricity. The conditions were awful and we were given a very small place to sleep.”

With 65 percent of Malawians living below the poverty line, hundreds of the Malawians girls are agreeing to job offers like this, hoping that they will find an income outside the country.

Juliana added that her passport was seized at the airport, just after stepping out of the airplane.

“My passport was seized right away at the airport. All the details I had for my master was fake from the name and the physical address. When I got to my master’s place, I was forced to work almost 20 hours straight before receiving time off. I was very traumatized and overwhelmed with sadness and disappointment.”

Many Malawian girls have become victims of human trafficking through social media job postings by unreliable and often illegal sources.

“To support my life, I had to look for greener pastures.  I came across a WhatsApp ad on one of the ladies forums for work in Kuwait. I picked up the number of the lady who facilitated my travelling processes,” added Juliana.

According to the Malawian government sources, the intricate system of human trafficking involving Malawians and Nigerians focuses mainly women and children.  They are often exported to Europe and Asia, where many of the victims are sexually exploited and are sold for as little as Mk 15, 000.

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