Admin note: While this story is from Kenya, we have plenty of male victims of both labor and sex trafficking here in the US. It is important to realize this and provide services and support.

"Bekunda Sunday still remembers the pride in his mom’s voice when he told her he’d landed a job in Kenya. He was 24 and studying tourism in Kampala, the capital of next-door Uganda. Struggling for money, he couldn’t believe his luck when a stranger named Charles offered him a job in his brother’s factory in Nairobi. He hung up on his mom and jumped into his new friend’s car with another Ugandan boy his age named Sam.

Two days later, Sunday says, he watched, trembling and wearing nothing but underpants, as a man tied Sam to a chair and asphyxiated him with a plastic bag. Sam had tried to escape, his executioner explained. No one would try after that. They were sex slaves now.

Sunday’s story, though rare, isn’t unique. While most people assume that only women are victims of sex trafficking, it turns out that a small yet silent group of men are often victims of this inhumane trade, according to human rights officials. And in East Africa, where the porn and sex-work industries are booming today, demand for young men is on the rise — meaning cases like Sunday’s are multiplying. According to Kenya’s National Crime Research Centre, the number of people forced into human trafficking, of both genders, has grown; 23 percent of foreigners trafficked into Kenya are male. Many are forced to work on coffee or tea plantations, but, as the report notes, the second most common use of forced labor is sex exploitation."

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