The story of Africans selling their kidneys for a penny, countless number of children sold outside Africa, and thousands of women trafficked out of Africa sadly still remain something we hear about till today.
The more we hear governments are curbing this menace, we more we watch helplessly as more people are traded for nothing meaningful. Most traders of Africans have become the modern-day ‘Judas.’ They have crafted their trade that most countries are not aware of when this ‘people trade’ happen under their noses.
Africa has become home to extreme poverty, government corruption, and armed conflicts, leaving many people to seek an escape from the continent. Unfortunately, their strong desire to run away from Africa leaves them worse than they were in Africa when they travel out.
The disunity between countries on the continent has compounded the high risk of ‘people trade.’ Human trafficking is a huge problem in Africa, especially with weak law enforcement agencies and open borders.
The precise number of Africans whisked away by traffickers is unknown. These people have become smarter by their ordeals that they work with numerous international agencies. The business is lucrative and with money available to throw around, vulnerable Africans are lured into trafficking.
Sadly, even the educated fall prey to these traffickers, and end being shipped as slaves to different countries. Gender inequalities especially among women, lack of education, unemployment, and poverty push people to become victims of themselves when they leave Africa.
Traffickers are mostly criminal gangs, who make use of sophisticated networks and information technology in pushing their trades. Sometimes, they post jobs and exploit people searching for jobs as their victims. Violence and coercion are common, with deadly oaths administered to victims to keep them enslaved to these traffickers.
Facts to know about ‘people trade’ in Africa
No African country has complied fully with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA), which is the minimum standard for fighting human trafficking. Around 40% of girls are forced into early child marriage before they turn 18.
While forced marriage or early child marriage is common in some countries, leaving these young girls prone to serious health risks, as well as domestic and sexual violence, it also lures them to become trafficking victims.
We should not forget that armed conflict has created an avenue for children to be sold without a trace. Children and women are the target for ‘people trade’ in Africa and easily facilitated by the continent’s cultural climate. Most of these traffickers are close to their victims, either as friends, family, or religious leaders.
In truth, most African countries are trying to fight this ‘people trade,’ and many are getting results from their efforts. However, more work is required, starting from equipping the law enforcement agencies with sophisticated equipment and training, and enlightening the populace.
Unfortunately, the craze to leave Africa to reside in countries that have ‘gold’ plated on their grounds and money growing on trees has not helped matters. Most people are not willing to hear the danger associated with this illegal movement.