Naomi, aged 13 years, grew up in a very poor family in Western Africa. Her father was in jail and her mother struggled to survive with two young daughters. The three of them shared a one bedroom apartment. Rafi, a male friend of Naomi’s mother, knew that they had very little money and offered to help. He said he had friends living in Ireland who had a very good lifestyle. He said that through his connections he could get Naomi a part-time evening job as a baby-sitter and during the day she could attend school and further her education. Naomi’s mother agreed to let Rafi take Naomi to Ireland. However, the reality of the situation when they arrived was very different.
Once in Ireland, Rafi told people he was Naomi’s uncle. He sold Naomi to a wealthy family for a one off payment of €10,000. Her passport was taken from her. She was not sent to school, instead Naomi had to mind three children under the age of four and had to cook and clean for the family. She never got a day off. Naomi threatened to leave but the parents of the family told her if she left her mother would be arrested back home and her sister placed in an orphanage. They told her they would let her leave when she turned 18. She was effectively a prisoner in the house. The only other person Naomi had contact with was the gardener Paul. At the age of 15 years she eventually could take no more and felt she could trust Paul, she told him her story. He reported the situation to An Garda Síochána. The Gardaí investigated the case and discovered that the girl had been trafficked, as had several other girls her age from her village. She was taken to the HSE who devised a care plan for her. Naomi’s mother was contacted but she said she did not want to get involved. Naomi was placed in foster care and now attends Secondary School.