In Tanzania, internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and characteristically facilitated by victims’ family members, friends, or intermediaries offering assistance with education or securing employment in urban areas. Impoverished children from the rural interior remain most vulnerable to trafficking. Girls are exploited in domestic servitude throughout the country and in sex trafficking particularly in tourist hubs and along the border with Kenya. Minjiza’s account makes clear the supportive role NGOs like Agape can play in helping survivors of slavery to build a life for themselves.
Minjiza ran away from home after her parents began making plans for her to be married. She went to work as a domestic worker after going to a church for help. She was forced to work long hours with no time off and often had pay deducted.
Whilst my brothers were allowed to go to school, I was forced to stop when I turned twelve, and my parents started making plans for me to be married, even though I didn’t want to. I ran away from home.
In a church I went to for help, the pastor referred me to one of his church members, who was looking for a domestic worker.
My employer told me I would be paid 10,000 shillings per month (about £3) but every time she was not satisfied with my work she deducted money. Often I only got about half of what I’d been told.
I had to work seventeen hours a day and they gave me no time off. My employer never showed me kindness, she kept insulting me.
After three years, as her children grew older, she just threw me out. I went to the church again for help and this time they put me in touch with Agape (Anti-Slavery International’s partners in Tanzania).
Now I am happy. I’ve only been here at Agape for two months but I have friends.
In the future I want to be a nurse, so I can help educate and care for children, especially girls who are at risk if they get pregnant too young.
As told to Anti-Slavery International