Trafficked Into Slavery: The Dark Side of Addis Ababa’s …
ADDIS ABABA, May 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - It was the promise of education in Addis Ababa that led 11- year-old Eleni to take the fateful decision to leave home.
The young girl from a small town in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, packed up and left for the capital in the company of her older neighbour, who said that her relatives there would welcome her into their home, pay her 200 Ethiopian birr ($8) a month to look after their young children, and send her to school.
“I thought I would enjoy Addis,” said Eleni, tearfully. “The woman told me fancy things about it. I thought everything would be okay.”
But it wasn’t. Despite the promises, Eleni was never paid by her neighbour’s relatives, and she was never sent to school. She slept on a mattress in the living room, was barely fed, and suffered abuse at the hands of her employers.
“I had to do everything,” she said, including cleaning, cooking, and looking after the family’s young children.”
After two months living with the family, Eleni, who did not want to give her real name, fled - walking the streets of Addis Ababa until she was found and taken to the local police station.