Human trafficking in Mauritius

Certain American militant experts have made a sociological study in Mauritius recently and one of them, Florence Bovin-Roumeshan has revealed in her report some shocking information on human trafficking which exist on the island for quite sometimes.

Many Mauritians do not know what’s going on behind the walls of our luxurious cities! According to such report a different standard and type of civilization in ghetto areas of Mauritius does exist such as abusive treatment on women and children, exploitation of workers, poverty and modern slavery.

“Eradicating human trafficking” is the struggle of Florence Boivin-Roumeshan, responsible for the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Justice and Equity which fights against human trafficking on the black Continent. She collaborates with NGO’s for the launching of a campaign on this issue recently. This human trafficking has rightly been denounced in the last trafficking report of the United States where Mauritius is affected in that field.

“This news reality in Mauritius goes beyond what is denounced” maintained Florence Boivin-Roumeshan. How does she know? In fact, as a militant she has conducted several enquiries on the ground whilst in Mauritius for about a month. Besides, the American state is not going to elaborate too many details without tangible proof but only publish few hints . However, several facts could not be proved because they were hidden, she explained.

Forced labour and prostitution are not the only problems Mauritius is facing, insists Florence Boivin-Roumeshan. She quotes an example about immigrant workers who are employed in the black market which are running illegally in certain remoted parts of the island. “We have these interviews of those immigrant workers recorded .”

The militant Boivin-Roumeshan confides that she has also got access to certain reports of complaints made to the police as well as access to dossiers and files of various lawyers and trade unionists that collaborated with the NGOs. “The problem of forced labour and abusive treatment on people is quite true. Everybody is aware but they don’t talk about it” She affirmed. According to her, traders who are involved in the business are well aware of the situation. “When I talk to certain traders of fabrics and other clothing at ‘ la rue La Corderie’, they describe a catastrophic situation”.

There exists also, according to her, forced prostitution of women and young girls by their families. This situation is well known in certain regions of the island and is often connected to drugs, she alleged. But the biggest problem, according to Florence Boivin-Roumeshan is the complete omission or absence of regulation concerning the adoption of Mauritian children by foreigners “ We have noted that many cases of adoptions are not done properly according to the legal procedure and are being done in doubtful conditions and this has been going on since many years.” said Florence Boivin-Roumeshan.

She reckons that if Mauritius has only recorded a very slight drop in the human trafficking business, it is because nothing has been done to stop such trafficking since many years. Beyond this trafficking of humans, she warns that it is the economy of the country itself that risks being affected if no action is taken. We all know that a country like England has voted the Modern Day Slavery Act ,meaning that such country prohibits the importation of products made by forced labour as we have in Mauritius.

What the American report reveals on Mauritius regarding human trafficking is shocking. In 2016  the country has passed to the second position under surveillance  because it does not align on the elementary norms against human trafficking. The country is a destination which is a place of transit for men, women and children victims of forced labour and sexual trafficking. Adolescents  mainly young girls coming from Rodrigues also are forced to prostitution.

The construction sector employs about 3,700 workers. Some of the workers are victims of forced labour. Mauritius does not respect the elementary norms in so far as the elimination of human trafficking is concerned. The authors of the report recognize that Mauritius is not doing any effort to combat human trafficking. The Ministry of Labour, according to a spokesman is taking the matter in hands. Poverty is augmenting in various outskirts of Mauritius and this together with massive unemployment are creating pockets of ghettoes where drug addictions are taking place.