Christina Elangwe spent five years as a domestic slave in Washington DC, held by Cameroonians. Promised an American education and a babysitting job, she was tricked into leaving her family in Cameroon at the age of 17. Upon arrival in the US, she worked long hours for no money, was not sent to school, and were beaten and verbally abused.A man called Louis Etongwe helped Christina and two other women to escape, then took tapes of all three to Cameroon to show their parents and gather evidence against the traffickers. Christina’s captors received five years probation and were ordered to pay her $180,000 in back wages. So far she has received about $2000.
The United States is a popular destination country for people searching for job and education opportunities and a better life. Labour trafficking exists in multiple forms including domestic servitude, forced labour in agriculture, fishing, and construction across the United States, with domestic servitude being one of the most difficult to detect as traffickers are able to keep people isolated and intimidated. Among those trafficked for domestic servitude in the US are children, lured to the US with the promises of a brighter future. At 9 years old Evelyn Chumbow was presented with an opportunity to travel from Cameroon to the United States to receive an education. Dreaming for the best for their daughter, her parents packed up her belongings and put her on a plane with a Cameroonian recruiter. However, when Evelyn reached the US she was forced to cook, clean and take care of the children of the recruiter. Never paid for her work and subjected to daily beatings Evelyn never received the education she was promised. After 7 years of domestic servitude, Evelyn was able to escape. She is now a vocal survivor activist working to raise awareness and educate on modern slavery.