Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Lecture Resources


[Lecture Resources | Resources for Teachers | Country-by-Country Reports ]

Religion & Slavery



‘Summer Brides’: Under-age daughters sold as ‘sex-slaves’ in Egypt, report claims

Al Arabiya News, 15 July 2012

[accessed 16 July 2012]

Egypt has laws in place that aim to combat human trafficking which prevent foreigners from marrying an Egyptian woman if there is more than ten years age difference, but marriage brokers have found a way around that by forging birth certificates to make the girls appear older and the men younger.  These contracts also eliminate any potential problems with hotels and land lords who may demand to see proof of marriage before allowing a couple to stay in a room together, since pre-marital sex is prohibited in Islam.

In some cases the men take the Egyptian girls back to their home country to work as maids for their first wives. But even the girls who stay in Egypt do not fare much better since they often become ostracized by society and find it difficult to re-marry in the traditional way, particularly if the “summer marriage” resulted in a child.

Many abandon the child out of shame, either to orphanages or leaving them to join the hundreds of thousands of street children that already exist in Egypt.  Dr. Hoda Badran, who chairs the NGO Alliance for Arab Women, explained to the Sunday Independent that poverty is the main factor behind this phenomenon.




The Tragedy of Female Slavery in Ghana

Brian Carnell, EquityFeminism, February 12, 2001

[accessed 16 August 2012]

According to the American Anti-Slavery Group, until the 18th century the offering typically took the form of livestock or other gifts, but that began to change and priests began demanding, and receiving, virgin girls as atonement for the sins of their relatives.  Girls, often under the age of 10, are brought to the priest, ritually stripped of all their possessions, including clothes, and told they have to do anything the priest tells them. Most girls are raped repeatedly.




From Slavery to Freedom...Please read

Ayiti Ap Bon, 01-22-02

[accessed 25 December 2010]

Bok said he was captured by the raiders and, along with two little girls, was placed on a donkey and carted north. "The girls were crying, and when they did not stop after being told to do so, a soldier pulled out his pistol and shot one of them," he said. "The other girl kept crying, and then he shot her."

Bok was taken to Kirio, he said, where he was given to an Arab man, who presented him to the entire household. They all beat him. "They always called me 'abeed,' which means black slave, and I had to sleep with the cows," he said, adding that he was always fed leftovers from the master's table.




880 Sudanese Slaves Liberated - Thousands Remain Enslaved in Darfur, Kordofan

Dr. John Eibner, The Seoul Times, Malwal KON, Sudan

[accessed 25 December 2010]

Most of the returning slaves documented by CSI reported gross abuse by their Arab Muslim masters. Among the most widespread forms of abuse are beatings, death threats, work without pay, forced Islamization and Arabization, and racial and religious slurs. The majority of women and older girls said they were raped or gang-raped while in bondage. A minority of the females claim they were subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) — a ritual that is the cultural norm for Baggara Arab women.




Sudan's Slaves

Michael Coren, Sun Media, 11/25/2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

Women and children abducted in slave raids are roped by the neck or strapped to animals and then marched north. Along the way, many women and girls are repeatedly gang-raped. Children who will not be silent are shot on the spot. In the north, slaves are either kept by individual militia soldiers or sold in markets. Boys work as livestock herders, forced to sleep with the animals they care for.

"Some who try to escape have their Achilles tendons cut to hamper their ability to run. Masters typically use women and girls as domestics and concubines, cleaning by day and serving the master sexually by night. Survivors report being called "Abeed" (black slave), enduring daily beatings, and receiving awful food. Masters also strip slaves of their religious and cultural identities, giving them Arabic names and forcing them to pray as Muslims."



Saudi Arabia

Saudi sheik: 'Slavery is a part of Islam'

WorldNetdaily, November 10, 2003

[accessed 21 December 2010]

A leading Saudi government cleric and author of the country's religious curriculum believes Islam advocates slavery.  "Slavery is a part of Islam," says Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA.  In a lecture recorded on tape by SIA, the sheik said, "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam."  His religious books are used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the country and abroad, including the United States.



Saudi Arabia

President Wahid: Slavery Widespread in Saudi Arabia

Indonesian Observer, JAKARTA, March 2, 2000

[accessed 21 December 2010]

He expressed concern that many Saudis may treat their Indonesian servants as slaves and sexually harass them.  Many Indonesian women who have worked abroad come home with horror stories of being raped and badly treated by their foreign bosses.

But according to Wahid, the Indonesian media often makes inaccurate reports on what goes on in Saudi Arabia.  "The media’s descriptions created a public perception that our women workers were raped. The situation is not like that. The Saudi people still believe in the old Islamic teaching, which is belief in slavery. So a woman who works for them is considered a slave," he said.  For some men in Saudi Arabia, sexual relations with a housemaid are not considered as rape, because they believe that such a practice is permitted by their beliefs, he added.


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