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2014 (Narrative Date)

There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt. As reported over the past five years, Egypt is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Egyptian children are vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labour in domestic service, street begging, and agricultural work.

Aaliyah was 14 when she was forced to marry a 26-year-old man.

My mother in law was very rough with me, she kept insulting me all the time. My husband started beating me for every mistake. The family kept me doing all household chores and serving the whole family, so I miscarried my first and second pregnancies. I never had the chance to get antenatal health care.

Now I am only 26 years old with three children, but I feel guilty as I could not raise them the way I should. I did not know about breastfeeding or child nutrition, so my kids are very weak like me.

I did not know to get my first child a birth certificate, so he could not join school and lost his chance to get vaccinations. I insisted on getting birth certificates for the other 2 kids. But my oldest child will have a poor family because he is not educated.

I decided to change my lifestyle, so I joined the factory to work and earn some money to raise my kids in a better way. For the first time, I feel like a human being and can face my own problems and tell my story to others; mainly to mothers to advise them not to marry their girls early.

I want women to allow their daughters to continue their studies in order to be able to face the difficulties of marriage, man demand and children needs. I do not want other girls to suffer from all the problems I had faced.

Narrative provided by Girls Not Brides