There are an estimated 134,000 people living in modern slavery in Rwanda (GSI 2018). The country is a source for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Young girls working as domestics often have their employment terminated after becoming pregnant and subsequently become exploited in to prostitution. Moreover, Rwandan men, women and children are often trafficked to other destinations around the world including East Africa, the Middle East and China for forced labour and forced marriage. Refugees fleeing conflict and political violence in neighbouring countries remain highly vulnerable to trafficking in Rwanda.
Jamie was subjected to sexual exploitation as a child after a breakdown in her parent’s marriage led to her being kept by an older man for two weeks. After being raped repeatedly by two men, she was locked in a house which caught fire. Jamie woke up in hospital disorientated and terrified.
My name is Jamie and I am 14 years old. I live in Rwanda. My sorrow begins when I was a child. My father and mother divorced when I was a child. I lived with my father and his wives. They treated me badly and never loved me. My father then sent me away to my mother. In hadn’t seen her in years, and she didn’t want me. One day I went to a man I knew. I trusted him. but when I reached his home, he sexually abused me and kept me for two weeks.
He then brought another man to abuse me and he refused to let me go for days. They locked me in the house with a candle burning and the whole house caught fire. I woke up and found myself in hospital and I didn’t know how I got there. The doctor came in and told me that they amputated my legs. I was so sad. I would rather have been burned in that house and died.
IJM took me to a home for children with disabilities. When I saw that there were other children who were handicapped like me, I was happy to stay there.
I am now doing well and I have new legs. I thank God that he makes a way where there is no way.
Narrative provided by IJM
Original narrative can be found https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_VQwAoG8g