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. Fedelina moved to the U.S from the Philippines for domestic work in 1974. She was told she would be looking after just one person, but upon arrival found she was to work for the entire family across multiple households. She was forced to wake up at 4.30am each morning to cook, clean and care for the family’s children. Her movement was restricted, and she was forced to sleep on the floor of her employer’s house, despite there being three bedrooms. One day in 2018, when Fedelina’s employer was receiving dialysis, the Filippino nurse treating her called an ambulance after Fedelina became sick. Though Fedelina told the hospital that she was paid for her work and free to leave at any time, later the FBI showed up and assisted in her in leaving her exploitation.
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. Before AS left her home country she spoke to her employer directly - a friend of a woman who was employing a friend of AS in Qatar - who promised her payment of 800 riyals [US$220] a month and told her she would be given days off. But when she arrived her employer told her that she would only earn 730 riyals [US$200] a month.
In 2016, the estimates of modern slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately 13.6 percent of the world's total enslaved population. As evident from surveys conducted in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia by Walk Free Foundation, slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa takes the form of forced labour and forced marriage. In Nigeria, survey results suggest that forced labour is predominantly within the domestic sector, although it was impossible to survey in three regions due to high conflict. In Nigeria and Niger, the ‘Wahaya’ practice continues to exist in which women and children are sold into sexual and domestic slavery as unofficial ‘fifth wives’. They are known as such because they are in addition to the four wives legally permitted in Niger and Nigeria. Tikirit Amoudar, 45 years old, describes how she was sold at aged 10 and remained as a ‘wahaya’ for 15 years.