Rights Group Says More Than 100 Burundi Girls Sold in the Gulf

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Burundian flag in Cibitoke, on June 22, 2015.

Photographer: MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images

More than 100 Burundian women were trafficked to Gulf nations in the past week, where some are in danger of being mistreated, a non-governmental organization said.

Human trafficking is a $150 billion market victimizing some 21 million people, 4.5 million of whom are sexually exploited, according to the International Labour Organization.

“They are taken there illegally,” Pacifique Nininahazwe, leader of the Forum for Conscious Awareness, known by its French acronym, Focode, said in a statement in the capital, Bujumbura.

As many as 800 others could have been trafficked to Middle Eastern countries last year, according to another organization, Burundi Women Association Confederation. Some of the women have been turned into slaves and are sold from one owner to another, according to police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.

“I was bought by the first boss,” Aline Munyaneza, who was rescued from an Arabian Peninsula country, told reporters in Bujumbura on Thursday. “After six months, my boss sold me to another boss. “We were treated like animals.”

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