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  • Tags: 1999-2001 (Enslavement period)

Marcela Loaiza

It is estimated that 290,200 people are living in modern slavery in Japan. The country is the destination for men, women and children trafficked for forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking victims are foreign women who migrate willingly seeking work, but find themselves trapped in debt bondage, having to work in domestic and sex work to pay off fees incurred. Despite warning from the U.N., it is reported that human trafficking is on the rise in Japan.  Marcela couldn’t afford to pay her daughter's hospital bills when she rang an agent who had recently offered her a job as a professional dancer abroad. The agent paid off the hospital bills and arranged for Marcela to travel to Tokyo. However, upon arrival Marcela was told that she would have to work providing sexual services to men in order to pay off the debt incurred from her travel costs. After 18 months, Marcela was assisted by one of her clients and was able to escape, making her way to the Colombian embassy in Japan and eventually back home to her daughter.