Human Traffic Watch

Sierra Leone’s Child Trafficking to Blame for Street Kids

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Soldiers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 21, 2013 at 9:44 am
Kaita (r) is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless. According to a 2010 survey it is estimated that there are as many as 2,500 street children in Freetown alone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

Kaita (r) is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless. According to a 2010 survey it is estimated that there are as many as 2,500 street children in Freetown alone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

On a street corner in downtown Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city, 12-year-old Kaita sits with a friend on a peeling steel railing watching the headlights of motorbikes cruising through the otherwise silent streets. It is after midnight, and motionless human forms lie curled up in doorways or stretched out on pavements nearby. For Kaita, these streets are home, and have been for almost six years.

Kaita is one of thousands of Sierra Leonean children who have ended up homeless after being given away by their parents on false promises of education.

Joice Kamara is the deputy director of children’s affairs at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs – until last year the focal point for the government’s anti-trafficking taskforce.

“Some of them (child traffickers) are relatives, some are strangers, some are friends – they go to the villages and they ask people to give them their children. They promise to give them the best education in the city,” she tells IPS.

Source: IPS News

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