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Examples of Common Forms of Trafficking in Sri Lanka

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Names have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals. Source: CENWOR research

Samanmali is Promised a Job but is taken to a Brothel
Samanmali is a young girl living in Galewela. Her uncle Ruparatne tells her that he will find her a job in the city and takes her, with her parents’ permission, to Colombo. In Colombo the uncle keeps her in the house of Senasinghe. Senasinghe forces her to have sexual intercourse with his friends. Later Samanmali comes to know that her uncle had given her to Senasinghe for 25,000 rupees and that Senasinghe’s house is a brothel.

Illegal Adoption for Forced Sex
Sumudu, a young girl, has no parents and lives with her aunt. A man known to her aunt takes Sumudu to a foreigner for adoption. He then hands Sumudu over to a woman who takes her to another village. There Sumudu is kept hidden in a house and forced to have sex with men who come there.

Good Samaritan turned Madam
Rupa was only eleven years old when her mother moved out with one of her brothers. She stayed with her brother and sister-in-law but was constantly harassed by both. She says "In desperation I went out to look for my mother. A kind lady at the bus stop started chatting and I told her why I was there. She offered to help and I gladly accepted. She took me to a place where I was forced to have sex with outsiders".

Sisters Trafficked into Slavery
Kishani and Shanika, two young girls who were in school were keen to get a job to tide over their parents’ financial problems. A neighbour, who was known to the parents as well offered to take them to a garment factory. He took them to Colombo and kept them in his house for a night. They were looked after well by his relatives in Colombo. The next day the neighbour took them by bus to Katunayake. They ended up in a house where they were kept locked inside and required to do all the house work. They had only four hours of sleep and were never allowed to go out.

Duped Migrant Worker
Kavita had worked as a cleaner for a private company for three years. At 29 she met Michael, a tourist who offered her a job in his house in Singapore for a salary of $200 a month. Michael also promised that she would be able to have one day off every week, visit friends and travel with his family. Michael organized a visa for Kavita and paid for her ticket. Kavita soon realized that Michael had lied. He forced her to work seven days a week, at least 12 hours a day, sometimes 16 hours a day. Despite the many hours worked, she was paid only US$100 a month and she did not receive any holidays. Michael took away Kavita’s passport. She was forced to work even when sick.

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