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Ghana: Sold into rape and slavery

Source: The Chronicle

On Ethiopia Airline flight from Accra to Addis Ababa on August 10, 2015, was a Ghanaian woman from Tepa in the Ahafo-North District of Ashanti Region. She was going to Oman to work on contract.

On Ethiopia Airline flight from Addis Ababa to Accra on August 18, 2015, were at least four young Ghanaian women from the Saudi Arabia. There were also other nationals fleeing the Arab states on that flight.

One of them, Joyce Baah (not real name) told The Chronicle onboard the fight about the ordeal she went through in the Arab land before deciding to finally come back home.

This is her story – she is in her early 20’s, married with one child:

A friend of her husband brought an agent who claimed he could sponsor the married couple to secure contract jobs in Saudi Arabia. Both of them went for medicals, but the husband was dropped because he had malaria.

The lady was, however, successful and was told she would stay in the same house the agent’s wife was staying and working in Saudi Arabia. She was to be a nanny. She was to be paid an equivalent of GH¢ 1,300 a month. After working for three months, her husband and baby would be made to join her.

The breakdown of the cost of her traveling arrangements were as follows:

Medicals: GH¢ 350.00

Police Report: GH¢ 150.00 (to check for criminal records).

Yellow Card: GH¢ 50.00

Passport: GH¢ 600.00

Airport Fees: GH¢ 500.00

Total: GH¢ 1, 650.00

The visa arrangement was by the agent. She got to Saudi Arabia and spent the whole night at the airport without food. She was persuaded to carry nothing on her since the sponsors will provide everything and urged her not to even change money at the airport (in case she absconds).

In the company of two others, they were taken on a three-hour journey, after she had been fed a meager breakfast of bread and fried eggs.

They had a full meal at the senior agent’s house and continued a twelve-hour journey to their employers. They slept on the VIP type bus, which they took at a bus terminal. At their final destination, another agent took them to his house gave them Kalypo fruit juice and small bread rolls.

The agent took her to his office and handed her over to her employer. The agent told her that, due to the tedious journey, she would have a three-day rest before commencing duty, but her employer said otherwise. She was made to start work immediately.

She was to be a house help since there was no nanny job for her. She was lied to in Ghana; her employer had no infant at home. She told her employer that arrangements were that she was to be joined by her family. The employer needed no man and had no job available for her husband, and also he cannot entertain her baby in his house.

Her salary was GH¢ 900.00 equivalent. She was given a phone on demand and called her husband in Ghana. She reported to him that all that the agent in Ghana told them were lies. Nothing he had told them were fulfilled or to be fulfilled.

She went to the office and cried her heart out, demanding to be sent back to Ghana. She was then informed that her contract was a two year one, and not a three-month renewable. The daughter of her employer revealed to her that $10,000.00 was paid to the agent in Ghana for her services so she could not go until the two years were up.

She was put in servitude: all work and no rest from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. She was not shopped for and only had hand-downs from her madam and the daughter. They gave her eight sanitary pads and later bought her a full pack.

She was always in a long flowing gown as her dress. She slept in the same room with the daughter and auntie. The elder son started sexually harassing her with suggestive language and gestures, to even stripping down and exposing his manhood to her while he pulled it.

She reminded him over and over again that she was married by showing him her wedding ring that was on her ring finger. One evening, the son told his mother that his room needed to be cleaned and the poor Ghanaian young lady was obviously assigned for that job.

In his room, the son attempted to rape her but she beat him off. She reported to the daughter who fought her brother on this. The auntie was not happy about her nephew’s conduct. Even though his mother got to know, yet she did nothing about it.

The son never ceased the sexual harassment and went on exposing his manhood to her and offering cash as well. But the young Ghanaian always fought him off with a knife she kept hidden under her bed.

She kept informing him that she was a married woman, but he would not be bothered. One day, after she had had her bath and walked into her room, the son stepped in with a friend. She quickly went for her knife. The friend disarmed her and pinned her down as the son raped her.

Her screams and cries made the son to run off. The daughter met her crying and informed her mother after she got to know what her brother did.Despite her pleas that she should be taken to the hospital for medical attention, it was refused and rather she was given some medicine which she refused to take.

The son kept sexually harassing her even after her rape ordeal. She informed her husband and had the agent arrested. Arrangements were made for her return.

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, she left her employer for the main office. On Sunday, August 16, 2015, she left for the senior agent and on Monday, August 17, 2015, she was back in Ethiopia and arrived in Ghana on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.

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