Human Trafficking Scenario #7

Njeri’s story

Njeri, 16 years old, lives in Nairobi with her parents, brothers and sisters. Her parents work, the family lives comfortably and she goes to an exclusive school where she is popular and excels in class. She loves fashion and the entertainment industry. She always buys True Love, Drum and Healthy Woman magazines to look at the fashion and models. She dreams of working for such a magazine or becoming a model or actress.

One afternoon Njeri is sitting in Uhuru Park with her friends. Njeri stays to look after their bags whilst her friends go to buy drinks from a nearby vendor. During this time a good looking, well dressed, and very friendly young man, who introduces himself as Steven, approaches Njeri and compliments her on her looks and clothes. They chat for a few minutes before Steven asks Njeri what she wants to do after school. She tells him about her ambitions. Steven says he is involved with an upcoming fashion magazine and is looking for brand new models. Njeri can’t believe her luck and they swap numbers. Stephen calls her the following day and invites her to a trial photo shoot at an office in Nairobi.

Njeri is collected by Steven from an agreed meeting place in the city and driven to a poorly kept house in an outer area of Nairobi. Expecting to see cameras and a studio, Njeri asks where the photographers are. The mood immediately changes. Other men come out of the house, grab hold of Njeri and Steven drives away. Njeri resists and screams for help but she is pulled into the house, stripped of all her clothes and belongings and locked in a sealed room with no windows. She is told if she tries to escape she will be beaten and information in her phone will be used to find her family.

For a week Njeri is forced to perform in pornographic films which are filmed in the house. She then receives an old set of clothes, is driven at night to a quiet country road, thrown out of the car and abandoned. Her other belongings were never returned to her.

Njeri stops going to school, withdraws from all social interaction and is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her family moves house due to the personal information the kidnappers have accessed in her phone. The house where Njeri was detained is abandoned when investigators arrive.

  1. Was Njeri lured into this situation and deceived? – Yes.
  2. Did Njeri agree to do what she was forced to do? – No.
  3. Was Njeri free to leave the work site and talk to family and friends? – No.
  4. Was Njeri physically, sexually or psychologically abused? – Yes, all three.
  5. Did Njeri have valid identification and was she in possession of such documents? – No.
  6. Was Njeri paid and were there any conditions of employment? – No.
  7. Did Njeri fear that something bad would happen to her, or to a family member, if she left the house? – Yes.
  8. Has Njeri been trafficked? – Yes.