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Nicoleta

2017 (Narrative date)

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. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks. 

 

Nicoleta, 34, Romanian survivor of forced labour and sexual slavery in Sicily. 

I came to Sicily with my husband. We needed to send money back to support our children in Romania. But the greenhouse farmer where we found work said I had to sleep with him, and if I refused, he wouldn’t pay us. My husband said it was the only way we could keep our work. My employer threatened me with a gun, and when he finished, he just walked away. This went on for months. I left both the farm and my husband, but found out it is the same wherever you try to find work here in Sicily. 

 

As told to the Guardian