My Trafficking Journey
I was born and raised in The Gambia. I traveled to Nigeria in June 2011 where I was later trafficked to Libya.
I always dreamed of being able to take my mother to Mecca for pilgrimage. I told her she was going to live in her dream house, and I would be able to pay for my brothers’ education. I hoped that traveling to Nigeria would help me achieve that.
When I got to Nigeria I worked as a cashier at a club in Lagos. I lived with a Gambian family who took me in as one of their own. During my time there, I met a young Nigerian girl whom I came to trust after she helped me get out of several situations. We decided that with the help of her uncle, we would travel to Europe together to have the life we always dreamed of.
Instead of helping, he sold me to an agent in Libya. Being trafficked is so awful that I wouldn’t even wish it on my enemies. When I was trafficked, I thought I would never see my mom again. On the first day, I was thrown into a dark, smoke-filled room underground, because I refused to become a sex worker.
A week later I was allowed to leave. I was taken to a connection house and on that very night, my womb fell. I was taken care of by a friend instead of a professional health worker. After I finally recovered from this, I caught the eye of a young man in Libya. We ended up getting married and I hoped our lives would change for the better.
Unfortunately, this was not the case as I became pregnant which went to post-term. Doctors in Libya had to do an operation to remove the baby. During the operation, fights broke out between two military camps near the hospital in Tripoli and the doctors had to flee the hospital causing them to rush the surgery. A piece of metal was left in my stomach after the operation which caused a lot of pain, but now I have a beautiful baby.
After this, I decided that I have had enough and needed to return home to protect my son. Upon my voluntary return to The Gambia in 2017, IOM provided me with medical assistance to do another operation and remove the metal piece from my stomach.
Since things have become more stable, I am using my experience to raise awareness about human trafficking. I don’t want anyone to experience what I have been through. My hope is that by sharing my story I can influence younger generations and prevent them from becoming victims of trafficking.