Human Trafficking Scenario #5

David’s story

David, 14 years old, meets his friends every Saturday to play football on the sand pitch near Malindi jetty. They play games against other teams and David is one of the better players on his team, usually scoring in each game. As is the case with many young men in Kenya, David dreams of playing football professionally in Europe. For a few weeks David has noticed a well dressed man watching the games. David is approached by the man who says he manages a football academy that scouts for players for professional clubs in Europe. The man is looking for a player to have trials in Europe for two weeks. David can’t hide his excitement and tells the man he is interested. The man explains further that his family needs to pay US$8,000 for him to go. The man gives David a phone number and tells him to call when he is ready to travel.

David runs home to tell his family the news. His parents and brothers know about his football ability and are supportive, encouraging David to follow his dreams. David’s father is aware of footballer salaries in Europe and realising the possible financial gain for the family, gets the US$8,000 together. David gets a passport and contacts the man who assists with a visa and air tickets, and says accommodation and meals will be provided in Europe. They travel by bus to Nairobi and then fly to France.

After arriving in Paris David asks the man which French football clubs he will be going to, but the man says he needs to confirm the details. They are collected by a driver and taken to an industrial area of Paris. The car stops suddenly and the man pulls David out of the car, throws him on the sidewalk and tells David aggressively that he knows where his family lives. The car speeds away with the man and all of David’s belongings.

David doesn’t know anyone in France, can’t contact his family, doesn’t speak French, doesn’t have any money and has been left abandoned and vulnerable on the Paris streets. He is afraid of going to the police because of the threat to his family. He spends two weeks in fear surviving in the streets before he finds someone who can help him. David eventually returns to Kenya and is reunited with his family. He is traumatised by the experience, fears the man will return, misses a year of school and avoids going out in public.

  1. Was David lured into this situation and deceived? – Yes.
  2. Did David attend football trials and receive accommodation and meals as agreed? – No.
  3. Was David prevented from talking to family and friends? – Yes.
  4. Was David physically, sexually or psychologically abused? – Yes, physically and psychologically.
  5. Was David in possession of valid identification documents? – No.
  6. Was David left vulnerable to further crime and at risk of being re-trafficked? – Yes.
  7. Does David fear that something bad will happen to him, or to a family member, if he reports the incident? – Yes.
  8. Has David been trafficked? – Yes.

Suggested further reading:

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/article/2000107755/football-academies-to-register-with-football-kenya-federation