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2014 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives.

Dawit*, a 16-year-old boy from Zerejeka, near Asmara, describes how Sudanese police handed him to kidnappers in March 2012.

I left Eritrea for Sudan in February or March 2012 with two men. We walked from the Eritrean border to a police station in Kassala because I had heard in Eritrea that the Rashaida in Sudan were kidnapping people near Kassala and the camps and I wanted the police to protect me. The police said, ‘Welcome, welcome,’ and three of them got in a car with us and said they would take us to Shagrab refugee camp. We drove for 15 minutes to a house and they gave us bread and cheese and told us to rest. One of the policemen was on the phone all the time and half an hour later a car arrived with three Rashaida in it. They put us in their car and drove us away. Then they took us to Sinai.

*name given

Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “I Wanted to Lie Down and Die”: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt