Thursday, July 9, 2015



Says the Leader of Lalyans Seselwa Patrick Pillay in a recent interview shown on the youtube channel, Seselwa Annou Koze, who claims that foreign women have been brought into the country as sex slaves under the Government’s watch.

“Women are being abused by supposed friends of the President”. This loaded statement comes from Patrick Pillay, a former Minister within the government of President James Michel. The claim of human trafficking is not new in Seychelles. However, what is new is that someone who previously formed part of the same establishment and in the know is now revealing all the secrets. Matter of fact, were one to type ‘sex slaves in Seychelles’, one is bound to bump into an article or two about such claims.

According to Mr. Pillay, young women have been tricked into coming to Seychelles under false pretences. These women were brought in from such countries as South Africa, Albania, Macedonia, Italy and the United Kingdom. They were housed at such hotels as the Plantation Club and Kempinski to name a few. Refusing to go into details, Mr. Pillay says that he is ashamed to describe what happened there, but some girls had attempted to commit suicide by jumping into nearby boulders.

In 2008, Patrick Pillay was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In his capacity as the Minister, there were several instances where he had to deal with reports of women being brought in and trafficked. From all indications, Mr. Pillay is aware of who was responsible for bringing these young women in – “as the clientele, the Arabs, requested blonde, blue-eyed girls”. On one such occasion, an advert was reportedly placed in South Africa, where girls under 18 were offered the opportunity to come to Seychelles to learn how to be Receptionists. It was only after they arrived in the country that they realised that they had been brought in to provide sexual services, albeit against their wills. One such blonde, blue-eyed girl, who was 16 at the time, who was housed at a hotel, screamed for assistance and she was assisted by employees of the hotel to get back home, as her passport had been confiscated. Upon her return, the girl’s father went to the police in Pretoria, South Africa and the Seychelles Ambassador in that country was contacted. An investigation was opened into the girl’s claims.

By Mr. Pillay’s account, human trafficking has been going on for more than 10 years in Seychelles. Who are the accomplices? The airport workers and those who work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who see what is going on but refuse to report such cases for fear of retribution. Mr. Pillay concluded by saying that these “women are being abused by supposed friends of the President” – if our country is cursed today, it is because of our leaders’ choices, that go against our culture and values, all because of greed.

In 2014, the US State Department upgraded Seychelles to Tier Two. This category is for countries whose “governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.” According to the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, Seychelles is listed as being at risk in areas such as trafficking of children, foreign women being sexually trafficked and foreign men being trafficked for labour.

It is to be noted though, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently conducted a Trafficking in Persons campaign. Said campaign touched on the areas that had been mentioned in the report.