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Huda

There are an estimated 85,000 people living in modern slavery in Yemen (GSI 2018). Young girls are subjected to child forced marriage, with UNICEF estimating 32% of girls being married before the age of 18. There is currently no legal age of marriage in Yemen and poverty, the practice of dowry and strict social and religious customs are drivers of child marriage in the country. With the onset of conflict within the country, estimates suggest that child marriage is on the rise. Huda was 14 years old when she was forced to get married.

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Jabbu Anjali

It is estimated that almost 8 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery in India (GSI 2018). The skewed sex ratio in some regions of India has fuelled the trafficking and selling of women and young girls as brides within India. Women are reportedly sold off into marriage by their families, sometimes at a young age, and end up enduring severe abuse, rape and exploitation by their husbands. It is also reported that women and girls from impoverished backgrounds have been lured by promises of marriage by younger men from urban areas, then forced into sex work once married.  Jabbu Anjali wanted to continue her studies, however was forced to marry after her parents postponed for just one year. After marriage, Jabbu Anjali was forced to undetake all the domestic work and care for her sisiter-in-law's children.

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Ruma

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.  Ruma was trafficked to Mumbai at the age of 11 by her cousin. After spending months working in her house, Ruma’s cousin then sold her to a woman from Kolkata for sex work.

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Helena

There are an estimated 6000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Kuwait (GSI 2018). Men and women migrate from South and Southeast Asia, Egypt, the Middle East, and increasingly throughout Africa to work in Kuwait, predominantly in the domestic service, construction, hospitality, and sanitation sectors. The vast majority of migrant workers arrive voluntarily; however, upon arrival some sponsors subject migrants to forced labour, including through non-payment of wages, protracted working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as confinement to the workplace and the withholding of passports. Many of the migrant workers arriving in Kuwait have paid exorbitant fees to labour recruiters in their home countries or are coerced into paying labour broker fees in Kuwait which, according to Kuwaiti law, should be paid by the employer—a practice making workers highly vulnerable to forced labour, including debt bondage. To a lesser extent, migrant women are also subjected to forced prostitution. Helena was 29 years old and a mother of 3 when she left for Kuwait in 1995 to work as a maid. However, upon arrival as well as her domestic duties Helena was forced to undertake sex work. 

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Vatsana B

It is estimated that 425,500 people are enslaved in Thailand, with the many subjected to forced labour. Women overseas-workers most often find employment in private households or service sectors, often finding themselves having to pay significant fees for the migration and recruitment process. Domestic servitude is also prevalent with the majority of enslaved being women from rural Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Victims are often physically and sexually abused, confined to the house and find their pay and identity documents withheld.  Vatsana was 13 years old when her parents could no longer afford to keep her in school and she travelled to Thailand to work. Though she was told she would be selling refreshments, upon arrival Vatsana was locked in a house, forced to do all household chores without pay and subjected to physical abuse.  

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Shelia

Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. In Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Parliament has identified corruption and the judicial system as reform challenges towards accession talks within the EU. In Greece, the turbulent economic situation has increased vulnerability for populations seeking employment and livelihood opportunities. In Greece, unemployment reached 24.4 percent in January 2016 with a youth unemployment rate of 51.9 percent.  Sheila was 15 years old and living in Nigeria with her parents when a woman offered to take her abroad to work and get an education. However, upon arrival she was forced to carry out all the housework, as well as provide sexual services for older men.

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Basma N.

The Global Slavery Index has estimated that there are almost 3 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in the region of the Middle East and North Africa. Oman is a transit and destination country for men and women primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines, most of whom migrate willingly as domestic servants or low-skilled workers in the country’s construction, agriculture and service sectors. Trafficked persons subsequently experience conditions of modern slavery such as the confiscation of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, long working hours without rest and physical or sexual abuse. Basma N., 21, from Majohe in Dar es Salaam, went to Oman in March 2015 after her agent in Tanzania promised her a domestic worker job for a family of four with a salary of 70 OMR ($182) a month. However, upon arrival her employer confiscated her passport, and forced her to work 21 to 23 hours a day with no rest and no day off, in three houses for a family of nine, for 60 OMR ($156) per month. Basma was confined to the house, verbally abused and had two months’ salary taken away after she complained to the embassy about her working conditions. Her employer refused to let her leave unless she paid back costs amounting to 2,400 OMR ($6,234).

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Savitra

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Easter Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. There are estimated 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and until 2012, Lebanon was the top country of destination for female migrant workers from Nepal.  Women who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through the withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threat and physical of sexual assault.  Savitra was having family problems in Nepal when she decided to go to an agency who acquired her work in Nepal. Upon arrival she went to work as a domestic worker for two different employers, however found it difficult to learn the tasks required of her and was sent back to the agency in Lebanon. Rather than being allowed to return home, Savitra was told she would have to struggle in Lebanon for one or two years to pay back the debt incurred from her travel. While she was eventually placed with a nicer employer who provided her with food, accommodation and clothes, she was still unable to leave her employer’s house

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Maya B

Lebanon is a destination for Asian and African women trafficked for the purpose of domestic servitude, and for women from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Lebanese children are trafficked within the country for the purpose of forced labour and sexual exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia who travel to Lebanon legally to work as household servants often find themselves in conditions of forced labour through withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual assault.  Maya was forced to work long hours in her employer's house, and in a shop in Lebanon where she was subjected to physical abuse by the people she was living with. After an incident of physical violence Maya was taken back to the agency. Despite repeated attempts to bring her back, Maya refused to return to the house. 

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Grace A

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia. Grace was just 10 years old when her parents died and she was forced to live on the streets of Lagos. A few years later she met a woman who said she was looking for someone to help her around the house. Grace stayed there for 2 years. At the age of 15 she was taken to England where she was forced to work as a prostitute. Grace was able to escape after 3 months; however, she was taken to a detention centre by authorities after her asylum claim was rejected, despite being told by the police she had been trafficked.

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Linda

There are an estimated 57,700 people in modern slavery in the US according to GSI estimates. The US attracts migrants and refugees who are particularly at risk of vulnerability to human trafficking. Trafficking victims often responding to fraudulent offers of employment in the US migrate willingly and are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in industries such as forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.  Linda travelled from Ecuador to the United States after she was given the opportunity to stay with her step-sister, work and go to school. However, upon arrival, Linda was forced to do all the house work, cleaning, cooking and looking after her step-sisters’ baby. Linda received no pay for her work, was kept in the home 24 hours a day under constant surveillance and never ended up going to school.

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Amina

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia. This survivor of modern slavery tells the Salvation Army of how she travelled from Sierra Leone to the UK after being promised a better education. Instead, she was trafficked into domestic servitude. This survivor was made to do all the housework, denied any privacy and never received any wages for her work. It was only when one of her employer’s children’s teachers called the police that this survivor was able to escape.

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Tahira

The United Arab Emirates is a destination for men and women predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, trafficked for the purposes of labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers make up over 90 per cent of the UAE’s private sector workforce and are recruited from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and the Philippines. Though some travel willingly, they are subjected to conditions of modern slavery including withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions of movement and threats of physical and sexual abuse. Trafficking of domestic workers is facilitated by the fact that normal protections for workers under UAE labour laws do not apply to domestic workers, leaving them more vulnerable to abuse. Tahira S. travelled from Indonesia to UAE for domestic work. Upon arrival, her passport was confiscated, she was locked inside her employer’s home, forced to work 15 hours a day and beaten daily. Tahira received no rest periods or days off and had to sleep on the floor with no blanket or mattress. She was given food only once a day and was never paid a wage. Following a violent incident in May 2013, Tahira was able to escape from her employer and obtain medical treatment, however she suffered permanent damage to her arm which had been broken by her employer 2 months earlier.

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Shelly A.

The United Arab Emirates is a destination for men and women predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, trafficked for the purposes of labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers make up over 90 per cent of the UAE’s private sector workforce and are recruited from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and the Philippines. Though some travel willingly, they are subjected to conditions of modern slavery including withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions of movement and threats of physical and sexual abuse. Trafficking of domestic workers is facilitated by the fact that normal protections for workers under UAE labour laws do not apply to domestic workers, leaving them more vulnerable to abuse Shelly A. travelled from the Philippines to the UAE for domestic work. Her sponsor forced her to work under the threat of physical abuse and her employer withheld her salary, paying only the initial 3 months but making her sign receipts stating she was in receipt of her salary. Her employer took her passport, confined her to the house and subjected her to physical abuse. Shelly A. filed a criminal case against her employers which has yet to reach an outcome.

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Farah S.

The United Arab Emirates is a destination for men and women predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, trafficked for the purposes of labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers make up over 90 per cent of the UAE’s private sector workforce and are recruited from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and the Philippines. Though some travel willingly, they are subjected to conditions of modern slavery including withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions of movement and threats of physical and sexual abuse. Trafficking of domestic workers is facilitated by the fact that normal protections for workers under UAE labour laws do not apply to domestic workers, leaving them more vulnerable to abuse. Farah S. travelled from Indonesia to Dubai through an agency and became engaged in domestic work. She was hired to work for an elderly couple but found that she had to serve around 20 people. Farah was required to work from 6am to 3am with no rest and no day off, her employer would shout at her and did not pay her for 3 months. When she asked to go back to the agency, she was told ‘I already bought you’. Farah was able to escape this abusive employer and went to live with other ‘runaway’ workers in a rented space, however this turned out to be a brothel.

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Mitos

The United Kingdom remains a significant destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, men and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers are trafficked to the UK for forced labour in agriculture, construction, food processing and domestic servitude. The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia. Mitos travelled from the Philippines to work as a maid abroad. Her employers took her passport and refused to allow her to leave, forcing her to travel to the UK. Upon arrival Mitos was forced to be at her employers call 24 hours a day, often working on only 2 hours sleep. She was verbally abused and prevented from leaving the house at any time. Mitos lived like this for 3 years before she was able to escape.

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Siti

Foreign workers constitute more than 20 percent of the Malaysian workforce and typically migrate voluntarily—often illegally—to Malaysia from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other Southeast Asian countries, mostly in pursuit of better economic opportunities. Some of these migrants are subjected to forced labour or debt bondage by their employers, employment agents, or informal labour recruiters when they are unable to pay the fees for recruitment and associated travel. Siti was 14 years old when her last remaining relative passed away and she needed to earn money. She was approached by a woman who told her she could get her factory work in Malaysia. However, upon arrival in Malaysia Siti was forced to work long hours in various homes doing domestic work. In the five years she was enslaved, Siti did not earn any money and was subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Following a tip off, Siti was finally rescued during a raid operation.

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Eka

There are a reported 9,200 enslaved in Singapore with the large number of foreign workers being the most vulnerable to human trafficking and enslavement. Many are brought to the country after being deceived by recruiters in their home countries with the promise of employment only to become victims of debt bondage, forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Eka was looking for work after the breakdown of her marriage when a woman gave her an opportunity for a better life. Eka was sent to a training camp with over a hundred other women. Subjected to inhumane living conditions she found herself incurring debt that had never been agreed upon for her accommodation. One morning she was taken to the agency and told she would be working as a domestic worker. She was taken to a home in Yishun where she was forced to work long hours and received daily physical abuse. 

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Carla

It is estimated that of the 400 000 enslaved in the Philippines, the majority are in forced labour. Recent surveys suggest that one in every two Filipino women are working abroad in unskilled and domestic work, some of the highest risk industries for modern slavery. High population growth combined with limited employment opportunities leads many Filipinos to look for work abroad. People are deceived by promises of higher salary and better working conditions, only to find themselves forced to work long hours with no pay under the threat of physical and sexual violence. This forced labour often involves debt bondage in which the enslaved is told they owe money for travel, accommodation and living expenses. Carla left school to find work in order to help support her family. Taken to an agency Carla accepted an offer to become a domestic worker in Manila where she was told she would be able to earn more money. After working in multiple houses for different families, she arrived at a home where initially she thought she would be treated well. However, she soon found herself working every day, locked inside the house, subjected to physical beatings and denied medical attention. Carla was rescued when neighbours heard screaming and called the police. 

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Afsana

It is estimated that there are over four million domestic workers in India. The domestic sector is informal and unregulated, obscured in private homes, and workers are not recognised as such but rather as ‘informal help’. Their wages are, on average, only a third of those in other sectors, they have very limited social protections, and commonly suffer poor working conditions, exploitation, abuse and slavery. Many domestic workers are migrants from poorer states and are among the most marginalised and socially discriminated populations in India. Most of them are Dalits or come from other disadvantaged castes and tribal minorities, many are landless, illiterate and innumerate, which increases their vulnerability and disempowerment. Afsana was just 16 years old and her parents were struggling to feed their family when a woman offered to get Afsana a job. Eventually both parents agreed and Afsana was taken to a house to undertake domestic work. Forced to work long, gruelling hours and physically and sexually abused Afsana never received any money for her work. Afsana eventually escaped with the help of a local worker.