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2018 (Narrative date)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Caste-based slavery practices continue primarily in the northern part of the country and affect some 44,000 people. Victims from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo are exploited in sex and labour trafficking in Niger. Nigerien boys are subjected to forced labour, including forced begging, within the country. Corrupt marabouts or loosely organized clandestine networks may also place Nigerien girls into domestic servitude or commercial sex. Nigerien children are subjected to forced labour in gold, salt, trona, and gypsum mines; agriculture; stone quarries; and manufacturing within the country. Girls are subjected to sex trafficking along the border with Nigeria, sometimes with the complicity of their families

Abdullah and his family lived under the control of their masters in descent based slavery until they settled in a village founded by Anti-Slavery International around its school project in Niger. As a result of this project, Abdullah is now able to go to school.

I’m 16 and in 6th grade (equivalent of year seven in the UK system) at Tchintabaraden secondary school. I am the first one in the family to go to secondary school, and this makes my parents very proud.

I go to a boarding school away from my home village. I go to classes at the school in the morning and have a private lesson for one hour in the afternoon, I do my homework the rest of the time. As I have a heart condition, I can’t play sports with the other children. However, everyone else gets along and plays together here – both ‘Red Tamasheq’ and ‘Black Tamasheq’. 

Life in my home village has changed a lot since the schools were built, they have made such a positive difference. People are now less poor and know so much more about their rights than before. However, I can only go back to my village during the school holidays, which I find difficult.

There are no slaves in my village any more. I did see there were slaves in a village near ours, and I felt really bad. I wanted to help them out but I couldn’t do anything. If I can be someone important like the President, I could do something to help these people.

My dream is to become the President of Niger. If I am the President, I would make sure there is enough food for Nigerien people, construct schools in every village, give a job to everyone, build new wells, and release people who are still in slavery.



Narrative courtesy of Anti-Slavery International