Anywar was abducted in 1988 at age 14 to serve as a child soldier in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Led by Joseph Kony, the LRA was fighting to overthrow Uganda’s secular government. The war in northern Uganda lasted from 1986 until 2006, during which time more than 35,000 boys and girls were enslaved by the LRA. In 1999, Ricky and his friends started Friends of Orphans (FRO), an organization which works to contribute to the empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers, abuductees, child mothers, orphans, and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Charlotte’s story explains how at the age of 14 years she was abducted from a boarding school and held captive for 8 years by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Her mother Angelina Atyam never stopped speaking out and working for her release and that of thousands abducted children in Uganda – despite threats by the LRA. According to the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons report 2017, some Ugandans abducted by the LRA prior to 2006 remain unaccounted for, and may remain captive with LRA elements in the DRC, Central African Republic, and the disputed area of Kafia Kingi, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.
In war-torn Uganda, the abduction of boys to become child soldiers has been widely reported on. However, the fate of thousands of Ugandan girls, who were abducted and sexually exploited, forced to become sex slaves for rebels and soldiers during Uganda’s civil war, has received less attention.
Concy was one of these Ugandan girls who were abducted and forced to serve the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) through sexual slavery, fighting, and forced labour. Her story emphasizes how the stigma around those who manage to escape back to their families and communities makes it difficult to reintegrate, and can lead back into a situation of slavery.
According to the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons report 2017, some Ugandans abducted by the LRA prior to 2006 remain unaccounted for, and may remain captive with LRA elements in the DRC, Central African Republic, and the disputed area of Kafia Kingi, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan.
According to the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons report 2017, some Ugandans abducted by the LRA prior to 2006 remain unaccounted for, and may remain captive with LRA elements in the DRC, Central African Republic, and the disputed area of Kafia Kingi, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. Evelyn Amony was abducted by the Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) when she was only 12 years old. For nearly three decades, this rebel group has committed a range of atrocities including the abduction of children, rape, killing, maiming and sexual slavery. Today Evelyn is Chair of the Women’s Advocacy Network, comprised of over 400 formerly abducted and war-affected women, many of whom are speaking out and effectively advocating for gender justice in Uganda.
There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Grace Akello was abducted from her high school dorm in October 1996 by the Lord’s Resistance Army. She, along with 29 other girls, was forced to march to Sudan under the threat of death if they could not keep up. Upon arrival, she was given an AK47 and told hunger would teach her to shoot. Grace was subjected to sexual violence for seven months before she was able to escape in April 1997.
There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery un the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported. After losing his job due to his sexual orientation and the death of his mother, John fled Uganda after his family blamed him for her death. John travelled to Edinburgh with a friend who told him he could get a good job and have a better future. However, upon arrival his passport was confiscated and he was locked in a room for a month. John ran away after one of the men keeping him tried to force him to perform a sexual act. John was referred to Migrant Help who assisted in obtaining him refugee status.
There are an estimated 9000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Oman (GSI 2018). It is a transit and destination country for men and women primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines, most of whom migrate willingly as domestic servants or low-skilled workers in the country’s construction, agriculture and service sectors. Trafficked persons subsequently experience conditions of modern slavery such as the confiscation of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, long working hours without rest and physical or sexual abuse. *Maria was 23 when a recruitment agent approached her with the promise of a lucrative 500 dollar salary per month and benefits.
There are an estimated 6000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Kuwait (GSI 2018). Men and women migrate from South and Southeast Asia, Egypt, the Middle East, and increasingly throughout Africa to work in Kuwait, predominantly in the domestic service, construction, hospitality, and sanitation sectors. The vast majority of migrant workers arrive voluntarily; however, upon arrival some sponsors subject migrants to forced labour, including through non-payment of wages, protracted working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as confinement to the workplace and the withholding of passports. Many of the migrant workers arriving in Kuwait have paid exorbitant fees to labour recruiters in their home countries or are coerced into paying labour broker fees in Kuwait which, according to Kuwaiti law, should be paid by the employer—a practice making workers highly vulnerable to forced labour, including debt bondage. To a lesser extent, migrant women are also subjected to forced prostitution. Prudence was offered a teaching job in Kuwait, making twice as much as she was making in Uganda. However, upon arrival her passport was confiscated and she was told to start cleaning. Prudence was subjected to verbal abuse daily, with other women working there suffering physical abuse. Though she wanted to leave, her employers told her she had to finish her contract. A contract she had not signed. Prudence’s luck changed one day when the family she worked with invited some friends to dinner who brought their own maid, also a Ugandan woman. Prudence told this woman about her abuse and was encouraged to get out. One morning while the family was sleeping, Prudence quietly left the house.
Susan was enslaved at the age of 16 as a child soldier in Uganda, where boys and girls as young as eight years old have been kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and forced to become child soldiers. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) estimates that as many as 10,000 children were taken in this way.