Kenya: How recruitment agencies & entertainment clubs are complicit in human trafficking

Author: Reuters, Published on: 9 August 2019

“From Asia to Africa: Women trafficked to Kenya's Bollywood-style dance bars”

Nepali beautician Sheela did not think twice about ditching her salon job when she received a call offering seven times her salary to work as a cultural dancer at a nightclub in Kenya…“(But) it was not what I expected,” said Sheela, who was rescued with 11 other Nepali women from a nightclub in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa in April where she danced on stage from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. getting tips from male clients…

A rising number of women and girls are leaving South Asian nations such as Nepal, India and Pakistan to work in Bollywood-style dance bars in Kenya’s adult entertainment industry - many illegally - according to anti-trafficking activists and police. There is no official data on the numbers but the results of police raids, combined with figures on repatriation of rescued women, suggest scores of women and underage girls are victims of organised human trafficking from South Asia to Kenya…

 “The raids have helped us understand the modus operandi of traffickers in Kenya who have agents overseas to recruit women for them,” an official from Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said on condition of anonymity. “They are offered jobs as cultural dancers and given around one month’s salary in advance. But when they arrive, their movements are restricted and they have to do erotic and sexually explicit dancing - and often have to have sex with clients.”

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