The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many women in the country.
Victoire, 39, told Human Rights Watch that Seleka fighters took her and four other women to a camp in Bambari in mid-2014. She said that during the month she spent there, multiple fighters raped the women and the fighters’ commander took her as his “wife”.
They [the Seleka] were many. Each one took us turn by turn. Each one raped us each day, one by one…. The chief came, saw me, took me and put me to the side. After that, he raped me, every day. If he didn’t go out [of the camp] he would do it to me three times in a day…. [When] they demanded sex from a woman, if she refused, they hit her, beat her.
They thoroughly beat me…. They took my clothes off and came to rape me. They took their turns—five of them…. If the anti-balaka take a woman [to the base], they finish doing what they want with her, take her to the side of the road and leave her and bring another [woman] in.
As told to researchers for Human Rights Watch