Fear A Survivor’s Account of Human Trafficking

After she was promised a job by an old friend in Delhi, Khalih, a young Kenyan woman, travelled to India. But she ended up being kidnapped by a sex-trafficking ring. She writes about how she survived the experience.

Editors’ note: The author of this piece is a survivor of human trafficking and has been kept anonymous to protect their identity. In line with expert recommendations, this essay has been lightly edited to ensure the author’s comfort with sharing sensitivities related to their story. Otherwise, words are as originally shared by the author.

This essay is available in print in our latest issue on Modern Slavery in Africa. Buy the issue here.

My name is Khalih, an African Kenyan girl raised in a very humble and Christian family. There are six in our family, I being the fifth born child. I was born and brought up in a ghetto- Majengo in Thika, Kenya, and life there was a real struggle for everyone, not only my family. Surviving was the only thing we prayed for since we didn’t know any other life. My parents toiled to make ends meet, and I thank God that we managed to finish high school even though we were six in our family. Sometimes we stayed home for two terms without attending school, and the funny thing about everything was that we were still enrolled in the following classes. ‘Kumaliza shule tu ndio muhimu,’ we used to say, so at times, we would go home for lunch and end up drinking water and going back to school on empty stomachs.

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