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Kim Jo

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that there are 2,640,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Government oppression in the DPRK prompts many North Koreans to flee the country in ways that make them vulnerable to human trafficking in destination countries. Many of the estimated 10 000 North Korean women and girls who have migrated illegally to China to flee abuse and human rights violation are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Some lure, drug, detain or kidnap North Korean women on their arrival, others offer jobs but subsequently force the women into prostitution, domestic service, or forced marriage. If found, Chinese authorities often repatriate victims back to the DPRK where they are subjected to harsh punishment including forced labour in labour camps or death. In 2002 Kim Jo travelled to China wanting to start a business to support her family. However, upon arrival she was sol to a poultry farmer and forced to marry. The man that trafficked her offered Kim Jo money to escape her buyers, re-selling her each time to different people. In 2006 Kim Jo was deported back to North Korea where she was placed in a detention centre. In February 2007, Kim Jo finally left North Korea for good.

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There is an estimated 48,000 people living in modern slavery in Libya (GSI 2018). Libya is a major transit destination for migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe by sea. Human trafficking networks have prospered amid lawlessness, created by the warring militias that have been fighting for control of territories since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Highly organized trafficking and migrants smuggling networks that reach into Libya from Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and other sub-Saharan states subject migrants to forced labor and forced prostitution through fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or non-payment of wages, debt bondage, and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. In some cases, migrants reportedly pay smuggling fees to reach Tripoli, but once they cross the Libyan border they are sometimes abandoned in southern cities or the desert where they are susceptible to severe forms of abuse and human trafficking.   Seif was a student in Sudan when he and some friends decided to travel to Europe. They arranged the journey with a smuggler and left for Libya through Chad. The desert was a tough experience, there was little to eat and drink, and when they arrived in Libya, they were exhausted. There, they were kidnapped and forced to work without pay in the goldmines close to the border.