Social unraveling spreads in Africa

Long wars leave traumatized victims without trust or family

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Ms. van der Kaaden said her group deals with victims of trafficking in Sierra Leone.

During the war, “many people were trafficked, they were forced into labor, many women were forced to become the wives of rebels or forced to become combatants,” she said.

Ms. van der Kaaden said many of these trafficked people were brought to Freetown from other parts of the country and now have no way to go home.

Many victims were children when they were first exploited and do not know who their parents are or where their homes were.

Ms. van der Kaaden said the families of these children are often too poor to afford other members and that the traumatic experiences of the survivors make it hard to have successful reunifications.

Many girls end up as commercial sex workers. “They see that as their only option,” said Ms. van der Kaaden.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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