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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2011 to 2025         

Republic of South Sudan

Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled with good governance and nation building and has attempted to control opposition forces operating in its territory. Economic conditions have deteriorated since January 2012 when the government decided to shut down oil production following bilateral disagreements with Sudan. In December 2013, conflict between government and opposition forces killed tens of thousands and led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions of South Sudanese displaced and food insecure

A "revitalized" peace agreement was signed in September 2018 ending the fighting. Under the agreement, the government and various rebel groups agreed that the sides would form a unified national army and create a transitional government.

[The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2021]


Human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in South Sudan, and traffickers exploit victims from South Sudan abroad. South Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or who are internally displaced, are vulnerable to domestic servitude throughout the country. Male occupants of the household sexually abuse some of these women and girls while traffickers force others to engage in commercial sex acts. Prominent South Sudanese individuals in state capitals and rural areas sometimes force women and girls into domestic servitude. 

South Sudanese and foreign businesspeople exploit South Sudanese girls in sex trafficking in restaurants, hotels, and brothels in urban centers—at times with the involvement of corrupt law enforcement officials. South Sudanese individuals coerce some children to work in construction, market vending, shoe shining, car washing, rock breaking, brick making, delivery cart pulling, gold mining, begging, and cattle herding.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2021.  Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in South Sudan.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Examining Human Trafficking In South Sudan

Elisabeth Petry, The Borgen Project, 17 February 2021

[accessed 7 March 2021]


1. South Sudanese women and girls are vulnerable to domestic servitude throughout the country. It is not uncommon for male occupants of the household to sexually abuse the women of the house or force them to engage in commercial sex acts.

2. East African migrants and those transiting through South Sudan vulnerable to abduction, sex trafficking and forced labor.

3. Unaccompanied minors in refugee camps or internally displaced children are particularly in danger of traffickers abducting them.

4. Internal factors such as social stigma and fear of punishment can often discourage victims of trafficking from reporting the crimes

5. The government of the Republic of South Sudan thus far has had limited success in implementing proper strategies to address the dangers of human trafficking.



*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: South Sudan

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 25 June 2021]


Forced labor occurred in domestic work, in agricultural labor on family farms and at cattle camps. Most of those in situations of forced labor in cattle camps and agricultural activities were victimized by their own family members. Employers subjected women, migrants, and children (see section 7.c.) to forced labor in mines, restaurants, street begging, criminal activities, and sexual exploitation.


Of children between ages 10 and 14, more than 45 percent were engaged in some form of child labor, largely in cattle herding, firewood gathering, or subsistence farming with family members. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the prevalence of child labor. Forced child labor occurred in brickmaking, cattle herding, gold mining, and market vending. Child labor was also prevalent in construction, domestic work, street work, and commercial sexual exploitation (see section 6, Children). Girls rescued from brothels in Juba reported that police provided security for the brothels, and SSPDF soldiers and government officials were frequent clients of child victims of sexual exploitation. State and nonstate armed group forcibly recruited of children for armed conflict (see section 1.g.).

Freedom House Country Reports

2020 Edition

[accessed 6 May 2020]


Trafficking in persons for forced labor and sexual exploitation is widespread, with rural women and girls, the internally displaced, and migrants from neighboring countries among the most vulnerable to mistreatment. The use of child soldiers is also a serious problem. In September 2019, the UN warned that child recruitment was increasing, and that more girls were forced to provide labor, including sex work.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 22 April 2019]

[accessed 6 May 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 912]

The national army—the Sudan People’s Libration Army (SPLA)—and its aligned forces recruited child soldiers as young as age 12, sometimes forcibly or with the aid of senior politicians and community leaders, to fight against armed groups. (6; 7; 8) In 2017, UNICEF verified 140 incidents of recruitment and use of children, affecting at least 1,221 children (1,057 boys and 164 girls). About 65 percent of these incidents were attributed to the SPLA and other government security forces, with the remaining attributed to the SPLA-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) (First Vice President Taban Deng Gai), the SPLA-IO (Riek Machar), the South Sudan National Liberation Movement, and the South Sudan Democratic Army-Cobra Faction. (25; 30)

Boys were forcibly recruited for use in armed conflict, including through abduction from their homes and schools and as a result of coercive threats to confiscate their family’s cattle. (7; 25; 33) UNICEF estimates 3,200 children have been abducted since 2013, many of whom have been subsequently forced into combat roles. (6; 7; 25) Children who joined willingly to protect their communities, after the loss of family members or shelter, or with promises of food or money for their families, were ultimately unable to leave the groups at will and instead were forced into combat roles. (7; 25; 30) Children also cooked, collected firewood, herded cattle, washed clothes, carried water and ammunition, manned checkpoints, carried out patrols, stole cattle, served as escorts and bodyguards to senior officers, perpetuated violence against civilians, or recruited other children. (6; 25; 33; 34)

The SPLA, other government security services, and armed groups forcibly recruited girls to serve as child soldiers and carry out support roles, during which time they were often coerced into performing sex acts. (34; 6) In 2017, UNICEF and ceasefire monitors noted an increase in the use of girls in armed forces. With worsening economic conditions due to the ongoing conflict, families also increasingly placed girls into prostitution to augment household income. (6; 7).


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 12 July 2021]


Sex and labor trafficking is widespread, with rural woman and girls, the internally displaced, and migrants from neighboring countries among the most vulnerable to exploitation. Armed groups involved in the civil war have routinely recruited child soldiers.

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