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Sarah.jpeg

Sarah

There are an estimated 403,000 people living in modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). Sex trafficking exists throughout the country. Traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary, many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces them into prostitution. Others are lured with false promises of a job, and some are forced to sell sex by members of their own families. Victims of sex trafficking include both foreign nationals and US citizens, with women making up the majority of those trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking. Sarah grew up in California. Her cousin was the leader of a gang and its members were often guarding the house. One of the gang members abused Sarah as a child and when her cousin found out, he was forced to retaliate, and Sarah now owed him. After this incident, she became a source of income and was put to work trafficking drugs. One day, her cousin bought her new dresses, took photos of her to sell to older men. When Sarah tried to seek help at school, she was locked up for a week as punishment. Later, when she was seventeen, Sarah’s cousin was arrested and though she was free from his control, she had nowhere to go and she was soon trafficked again by an old friend into adult entertainment. When she was 23, Sarah stole her second trafficker’s car keys and escaped. After living a life of abuse, trafficking, and drug abuse, Sarah struggled to go about ‘normal life.’ She talks about her journey overcoming her trauma and moving forward.

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Rudolph

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported. In 2017, Rudolph, age 52, went to Derby in the UK from the Czech Republic on the promise of work. But instead, he became a victim of human trafficking and forced labour. Miroslav Bily, the man who made him work for nothing, has been jailed for 45 months. 

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Mark Ovenden

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016, an estimated 3.6 million men, women and chidlren were living in modern slavery in Europe and Central Asia (GSI 2018). People are subjected to exploitation in forced labour, debt bondage and forced sexual exploitation. Government response in Europe is particularly strong with a number of regional bodies holding them account and monitoring responses, and while countries in Central Asia have taken steps to tack modern slavery, more needs to be done.  Mark was unemployed and looking for work when he was offered a job and a place to stay. However, he soon found himself trafficked into forced labour. He worked long hours doing laborious work and was not paid. He was trafficked in the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden.

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Kolab

There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). All of Cambodia's 25 provinces are sources for human trafficking. Cambodian women and girls move from rural areas to cities and tourist destinations where they are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, beer gardens, massage parlors and salons. Cambodian men form the largest source of demand for children exploited in prostitution, although men from across the world travel to the country to engage in child sex tourism. When Kolab was seven years old he was told that he had been sold to the people he thought were his parents. At 13, he was sent to Phom Penh where he stayed with two men who offered him a place to live. These men introduced Kolab to another man who forced Kolab into commercial sexual exploitation. He was drugged, raped, and filmed having sex with other men. He was forced to sell drugs and steal and subjected to beatings and torture if he didn’t make enough money.

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Santiago

There are an estimated 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). 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. Santiago travelled from Mexico to the United States and was trafficked into forced labour in California when he was 21 years old. Without papers, Santiago was vulnerable. When he asked his employer for his salary, she called immigration and had him deported, then arranged for him to cross back and then kept him in debt bondage for the expenses of his journey.

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Jit Bahadur Lungeli

There are an estimated 4,000 people living in modern slavery in Qatar (GSI 2018). Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labour and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as unskilled laborers and domestic workers, often paying illegal and exorbitant fees to unscrupulous recruiters in the labour-sending countries, thereby increasing their vulnerability to debt bondage. Some workers subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, to include restricted movement, payment withholding, passport confiscation, exit permit retention, and threats of deportation or abuse. Individuals in Qatar sell visas to migrants and occasionally demand regular payments, enabling migrant workers to work illegally and without legal recourse against their respective sponsors, although reportedly this trend is on the decline. Jit Bahadur Lungeli travelled for from Nepal to Qatar for work where he was trafficked into forced labour. Jit was forced to live in a labour camp in cramped conditions with little access to food. When Jit tried to leave after learning about the death of his son, his employer told him he would have to refund him remuneration and the visa fee.

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James

There are an estimated 133,000 people living in modern slavery in Ghana (GSI 2018). Ghana remains a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to forced labour within the country in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, artisanal gold mining, quarrying, herding, and agriculture, including cocoa. Research focused on the fishing industry on Lake Volta indicated that more than half of the children working on and around the lake were born in other communities and many of these children are subjected to forced labour; not allowed to attend school; given inadequate housing and clothing; and are controlled by fishermen through intimidation, violence, and limiting access to food. Boys as young as five years old are forced to work in hazardous conditions, including deep diving, and many suffer waterborne infections. A study of the prevalence of child trafficking in selected communities in the Volta and Central Regions indicated that children from nearly one-third of the 1,621 households surveyed had been subjected to trafficking, primarily in fishing and domestic servitude. James was forced into child labour by his father, in Winneba, Ghana. From the age of six to thirteen he was forced to work long hours as a child fisherman with little food and no access to medical care.

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Natalicia

There are an estimated 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). 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. Natalicia was trafficked from Brazil into domestic servitude in the Boston, United States at the age of fourteen. She was working as a nanny when her employers invited her to travel to the US with them to take care of their toddler. Natalicia was granted a two-year visa to work as a domestic worker for the family. However, upon arriving in the US, she was forced to work long hours for no pay, to do housework as well as undertake childcare, and forced to sleep on the porch.

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Srijan

There are an estimated 212,000 people living in modern slavery in Malaysia (GSI 2018). The majority of those exploited are migrant and undocumented workers in the country. 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. Srijan, a 28-year-old man who was working on a flower farm in the Cameron Highlands, compared what his agent had told him with what he found when he began work.

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Niaz

There are an estimated 212,000 people living in modern slavery in Malaysia (GSI 2018). The majority of those exploited are migrant and undocumented workers in the country. 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. Niaz, a 36-year-old Bangladeshi man, was promised work and a good wage in Malaysia by an agent. Upon arrival he was paid basic salary and did not know how he was ever going to get his money back.

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Shamshad

There are an estimated 212,000 people living in modern slavery in Malaysia (GSI 2018). The majority of those exploited are migrant and undocumented workers in the country. 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. Shamshad travelled to Malaysia for work through an agent. Upon arrival he was taken to work at a timber factory where he was to be paid less than half what was promised. After two months the employer told Shamshad and fifty other workers to leave as there was no more work. They were not paid for their labour. The same agent found a new job elsewhere and Shamshad’s passport was withheld, leaving him unable to go back home.

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Mostafa

There are an estimated 212,000 people living in modern slavery in Malaysia (GSI 2018). The majority of those exploited are migrant and undocumented workers in the country. 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. Mostafa, a 23-yr old from Bangladesh, travelled to Malaysia for work through an agent. He worked in a furniture factory for four or five months before his agent moved him to a hostel to wait for more work. He and the other workers had their relatives wire money so they could cover their living expenses during the time they were out of work. 30 workers shared quarters near the factory in Klang.

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Thiri

There are an estimated 212,000 people living in modern slavery in Malaysia (GSI 2018). The majority of those exploited are migrant and undocumented workers in the country. 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.   Thiri came to Malaysia in 2007 from Myanmar without documents. He was brought to immigration officials and was told he was being deported to the Thai-Malaysian border. However, he was forced into the back of a vehicle and taken to a house where traffickers demanded money to go back to Malaysia. Those that could not pay, including Thiri were kept in the house and threatened with forced labour. Thiri and six others tried to escape and have the traffickers arrested but police were involved in the trafficking and they were taken back to the house where they were being kept. Thiri was forced to cook and clean, sell drugs, and become the traffickers’ ‘bodyguard,’ beating new arrivals who also could not pay the fee to return to Malaysia. Eventually Thiri was able to escape.

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Rayana

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Rayana*, an 18-year old woman from Kazakhstan, was trafficked to Russia after a man offered her work near Moscow. But when she arrived, she was forced to work in a shop with two other girls. Rayanna was subjected to physical and sexual violence. She finally escaped one night by clinging to the back of a lorry.

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Albert

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Albert*, A 17-year-old man from Novosibirsk in Russia was kidnapped and coerced into construction work. For six months he worked long hours under constant supervision and the threat of violence.

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Ansar

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Ansar*, a 17-year old from Uzbekistan, travelled to Russia after being offered a job building roofs near Moscow. Ansar was taken to a house with four other workers and gave his documents to his employer. Ansar was not paid for his labour and ran away after it became clear his employer had no intention of paying him.

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Shamil

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Shamil*, a 38-year-old man from Azerbaijan travelled to Russia to earn more money and increase his standard of living. He found work as a loader at a local market. He has been subjected to fraud, threats, incomplete payment and labour bondage.

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Vadim

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Vadim*, a 38-year old man from Belarus travelled to Russia for work. He paid a recruiter and agreed to work as a builder for three years. Half of his salary is being kept by his employer until the end of his contract and he is unable to leave.

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Erasyl

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Erasyl*, a 46-year-old man from Kazakhstan travelled to Russia to get money for his son’s education. He paid a recruiter to find him work. Upon arrival Erasyl had his passport confiscated and he was forced to work as a bricklayer to pay off the debt incurred from the recruiter.

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Petro

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Petro*, a 31-year-old man from Ukraine travelled to Russia for work to buy his family a new home. Upon arrival, he went to a recruiter who found him work. Petro paid the recruiter and gave him his passport. He was trapped in debt bondage forced to work long hours as a labourer to pay off his loan.