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.
Martine, 32, was at her family’s home in Bambari when Seleka forces attacked the town in December 2013. She watched as Seleka fighters forced her husband and older brother to dig two graves and then shot them. The Seleka took Martine captive along with more than 20 other women and girls, some as young as 12.
There were young girls, 12 years old. They untied us to have sex. Then after they finished, they tied us up again. At all hours they did that, several times during the day. It wasn’t just one person, it was different people [raping us]. There were four or five different people each day. It was never the same person.
[The Seleka also forced the women and girls to collect water, cook, and wash dishes]
[for six months after the Seleka held her captive and raped her daily for two weeks in December 2013, she had pain when she went to the bathroom and felt her health deteriorating]
The doctor said my intestines were all ruined. It was linked to the sexual violence.
As told to researchers for Human Rights Watch