The horror of sexual slavery defies rational analysis. Nonetheless, if we bear any hope of a bright future, we still must analyze it. Sexually slavery is bad enough, but seemingly it gets even worse when there are more people enslaved today globally than ever before in the entire human history.
Sexual slavery is a matter of inhumanity. It’s quite atrocious when human beings are seen as something to be bought and sold.
Sexual slavery around the world.
Christine Caine, an evangelist who doubles up as a motivational speaker and now an activist, narrates how while walking through an airport in Greece, was astounded by posters bearing pictures of pretty young women who had possibly disappeared.
On investigating further, she found out that the pictures were actually of girls who, unfortunately, fell victim to human trafficking. She recounted horrifying witness reports of young women being auctioned in a manner reminiscent of the ancient slave trade that was prevalent during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The UN’s special envoy on sexual violence also recently detailed how Islamic State Militants trade teenage girls into sexual slavery as well as subject the female abductees to dreadful sexual violence.
Zainab Bangura, the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, happened to come across the said girls and women who luckily got away from regions controlled by the group. The women gave a terrible account of the cramped conditions they were kept in, how they were assigned monetary value and thereafter sold for as little as a pack of cigarettes. To date, the group still continues to run the same trade.
In Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), men, women and children are all kidnapped and confined for months(sometimes years) as slaves by the militias.
The trend is almost everywhere worldwide. It’s a more so a problem now than ever before.
Efforts to combat sexually slavery
The A21 campaign, founded in 2008 by Christine Caine together with her husband has been instrumental all over Southeastern Europe in fighting sex trafficking. The organisation hopes to end human trafficking through awareness campaigns, protection of survivors, protests, law enforcement amongst many other efforts.
But the campaign doesn’t end at letting people know sexual slavery exists. It goes further by letting each person make the choice to either fight it or let it happen. In addition, it assists recovered traffic victims.
In Alabama, The WellHouse, an absolutely safe house for sexually exploited women has also engaged in rescue missions to assist women trapped in sexual slavery. Recent events in the United States have once again raised the matters of the state’s past, in particular, sexual slavery and racism.
In Iraq and Syria, Baba Sheikh, the Yazidi religious leader has continuously issued calls for acceptance as well as the integration of the survivors of IS abuse. The move has been highly praised by Zainab Bangura.
In the United Arab Emirates, where countless Africans have often found themselves as victims of human trafficking, special efforts have been made by the UAE government in collaboration with UNHCR to combat the trend. Victims in this country undergo medical attention and counselling and then UNCHCR finds them alternative countries where they can stay with their children and begin a new life.
Christine Cain believes that there’s life beyond the past full of hope. She also believes the victims of sexual slavery still have a bright future and that if we all commit to fostering restoration, we can overpower this massive obstacle and be made whole again.