The Sad Case Of Gambian Girls In Kuwait!!!
I listened to a repeat broadcast of Pa Nderry’s exclusive interview with some Gambian ladies in Kuwait who were tricked to travel to that Middle Eastern country with a promise of a better life.
By all standards, this is a classic case of human trafficking perpetrated by people who shamelessly claimed on a separate interview on Freedom Radio to be operating a registered business in the Gambia.
The actions of the “registered recruitment agency” and their Gambia collaborators in Kuwait, to some extent, constitute organized crime where the perpetrators hide behind a somehow legal outfit to traffic unsuspecting victims with the promise of a better life that is never to be. The fact that money exchanged hands before the girls travelled to Kuwait is even more troubling.
Like all other professional traffickers, this so-called recruitment agency preys on innocent but vulnerable young girls whose ambition to improve their economic status are being exploited by “shipping” to the Middle East to their death traps as domestic slaves. And this recruitment agency just like many others sprouting all over Africa targeting wealthy Arab families, is hardly bothered by the plight of its victims.
What is disappointing but unsurprising though is the seeming lack of interest shown by Gambian authorities to ruthlessly nib this criminal practice in the bud!!!
It’s annoying to say the least hearing one of the agents saying on Freedom Radio that they are paying tax to the government. One wonders also how much they are hiding from authorities.
Human trafficking in which men, women and children are used for labour and sexual exploitation fetches organized criminal networks around the world an annual profits of about $32 billion. From 2009 to 2014, migrant smuggling from Sub Saharan Africa alone generated an estimated $300 million to organized criminal networks.
And in the Gambia, this kind of human trafficking is rife. The unfortunate thing is that it did not start today. I remember in 1997 while working with Citizen FM Radio in the Gambia as Editor, our senior reporter Alieu Badara Sowe produced an exclusive investigative report on trafficking of women from Gambia to Middle Eastern countries. That human trafficking ring was headed by a deputy Imam of Banjul and because of the sensitivity of the story and the big names involved, when the story was broadcast, rather than going after the perpetrators, it was the reporter who was made a sacrificial lamb by even some family members of the trafficked women.
But thank God those women were rescued from Kuwait through the direct intervention by President Jammeh himself. In fact the late Daba Marena of the NIA, Pa Mbaye of the Police and Captain Bakary Camara had to travel to Kuwait to bring the ladies back.
I commend Pa Nderry Mbaye for bringing this rather serious phenomenon in our country to the public view once again. Personally in 2012 while heading an Africa wide project that covered some East Africa countries, I met three young Gambian girls who were stranded at the Nairobi Airport for eight days. They were dumped there by their Lebanese agent/s who flew them from Lebanon to Nairobi hoping to provide their connecting tickets back to the Gambia. Their only crime was that they were accused of complaining against their employers. They were malnourished and at least one of them was badly manhandled. With the help of a Gambian brother (name withheld), we managed to buy them tickets and to return back to Gambia.
It seems apart from the recruitment agency that brought these young girls to Kuwait, there is every reason to believe that some Gambian diplomatic missions in the Middle East, especially the one in Qatar are also involved in this scam. There are some families in Gambia whose children were taken to Doha to work on World Cup construction projects who have either not been paid at all or were massively under paid because a certain senior Gambian diplomat who facilitated their travel who also paid commission from their salaries.
The Government of The Gambia should immediately launch an investigation into this matter and prosecute these so-called agents and their abettors. Every efforts should also made to rescue the ladies from the brutal captivity they’ve found themselves in different countries in the Middle East.
SOURCE: EBRIMA SILLAH’S FACEBOOK PAGE
PUBLISHED AUGUST 6, 2015