History in the Making

Document Type



When does tradition and religion infringe upon human rights and who has the right to impose restrictions on them? Slavery is still an ongoing phenomenon that should no longer be denied. Trokosi, still being practiced today, is a relatively unknown African religion in which young girls are sexually enslaved to pay for crimes committed by their families. This paper highlights the terrible tradition of trokosi in order to bring public awareness to its three-hundred-year practice. Through the examination of a variety of secondary sources, definitions of slavery and explanations of the trokosi traditions are first established. Next, debates for and against maintaining the trokosi tradition are examined, followed by a look at some of the pros and cons of activism against it. By spotlighting this centuries-old practice, perhaps we can bring it to an end.