‘Sons of Isaias’: Slavery and Indefinite National Service in Eritrea

Mirjam van Reisen, Makeda Saba, Klara Smits

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In Eritrea, anyone over 18 is conscripted into indefinite National Service, where they are assigned to forced labour programmes in construction, teaching, health and administration. This is tantamount to slavery. Conscripts have no freedom to communicate, their movement is restricted, and they live in inhumane conditions. Under constant surveillance, feelings of hopelessness and fear propel the mass exodus of refugees from Eritrea, despite the shoot-to-kill policy at the border. This exodus is feeding human trafficking for ransom, as people desperately search for ways to flee the country.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobile Africa
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Trafficking and the Digital Divide
Place of PublicationBamendaa, Cameroon
PublisherLangaa RPCIG
Chapter5
Pages115-175
ISBN (Print)9789956551132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameConnected and Mobile: Migration and Human Trafficking in Africa
PublisherLangaa

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Keywords

  • Eritrea
  • National Service
  • Forced Labour
  • Human trafficking
  • Slavery

Cite this

van Reisen, M., Saba, M., & Smits, K. (2019). ‘Sons of Isaias’: Slavery and Indefinite National Service in Eritrea. In Mobile Africa: Human Trafficking and the Digital Divide (pp. 115-175). (Connected and Mobile: Migration and Human Trafficking in Africa ). Langaa RPCIG. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvvh85s6.12