The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape. Poppy, along with her older sister Jesmin and the rest of her family, migrated to Mumbai when she was young. Once there, Poppy and her sisters went to work in a ‘bar’ to help support their family. Poppy worked massaging men where she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
There are an estimated 145,000 people liing in conditions of modern slavery in Italy (GSI 2018). Italy is a destination, transit, and source country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims originate from Nigeria, Romania, Morocco, China, and other countries. Female victims are often subjected to sex trafficking in Italy after accepting promises of employment as dancers, singers, models, restaurant servers, or caregivers. Romanian and Albanian criminal groups force Eastern European women and girls into commercial sex. Rita was homeless when she was approached by a woman who asked her if she would like to travel and promised to take her to Europe where she could work in her supermarket. Before she left, the woman told Rita the travel costs and made her undergo a voodoo ceremony and swear an oath that she would pay back the money for the journey. As the woman accompanied Rita on the journey from Nigeria through Libya, her attitude began to change. Rita was beaten, abused, and raped by men along the way but the woman did not intervene or protect her. The journey was traumatising, and she saw many people die on the way. Once she arrived in Florence, instead of the supermarket work she was promised, Rita was forced to work as a prostitute in a brothel to pay back the money she owed. After three months of being locked up in the brothel, she escaped and is now in Germany, but she is still being threatened by the Madam in Italy.
Countries in Latin America are source, transit and destination countries for trafficking in persons. People are exploited within their own countries and trafficked to other countries in the region, with Latin America being the primary source region for people trafficked to the United States. Major forms of trafficking in persons include commercial sexual exploitation of women and children, labour trafficking within national borders and among countries in the region, and the trafficking of illegal immigrants in Mexico and Central America. The two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the largest percentages of their population subjected to modern slavery, are Haiti and the Dominican Republic, according to the Walk Free Foundation. Romina was living on the streets with her father from the age of 9. One day her father was killed and Romina was put into the care of his friend Hugo. From the age of 13, Hugo trafficked Romina into commercial sexual exploitation. Romina was drugged and subjected to daily sexual violence until one day she was rescued during a police raid.
The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape. Sadhna was 11 years old when her father passed away. Her family was left with no money in their village, so they moved to Kolkata in search of work. Sadhna was struggling as a house cleaner when a local woman offered her a new job. Sadhna followed the woman to a house filled with strange men and beer. She was given a glass of water and immediately fell unconscious. She woke to find she had been raped and was now to be sold for sex from a private brothel, she was 14 years old. Sadhna was rescued by IJM and now shares her story with other girls in India.
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. Sally was trafficked into prostitution in the state of Nebraska. She tells of her struggles being believed by her family at the time and how she continues to struggle years later with feelings of fear and distrust.
There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives. Sesuna* was travelling to Israel for work when she was kidnapped by a smuggler in Sinai and raped.
In 1993, Burundi’s first democratically elected president was assassinated in a coup d’état. Melchior Ndadaye, of the majority Hutu ethnic group, had sought during his three months in office to ease tensions between Hutu and the minority Tutsi, which had ruled Burundi for decades and continued to dominate the army. In response, Hutu paramilitary groups formed, and as quid pro quo attacks between Hutu and Tutsi escalated, Burundi spiraled into civil war.Among the many victims of the war were children. Indignant over Ndadaye’s death and the denial of political power the Hutu believed their due, extremist factions exhorted teenagers and even younger children to join their ranks, and for more than a decade, thousands of children lived in Burundi’s forests in deplorable conditions, raiding villages, camps, and military installations, both suffering and committing horrific violence. Many were girls kept as sexual slaves for older soldiers. Shadrack joined the FNL rebellion after the army came to his village and killed a number of his relatives and neighbours, he was 13 years old. Shadrack tells of his experience as a child soldier and how he came to leave the rebellion.
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. Shannon was trafficked into forced prostitution in the state of Nebraska. Here she tells of her experience of PTSD long after being rescued from her situation and stresses the central role of therapy in the road to recovery. Shannon underlines the importance of differentiating between those who choose prostitution and those who are trafficked into prostitution for commercial sexual exploitation.
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. Shola was unhappy with her life in Nigeria. She wanted to study and get a job, but when she finished secondary school, her family expected her to marry, have children, and be a housewife. She decided to go to Europe to realize her plans. A woman promised to take her there, and she departed with a group of girls, taking the Libya route. Once in Libya, Shola and the other girls were told they would have to work before they crossed. They were forced into prostitution and were beaten if they refused. Shola and some others escaped from their sexual exploitation with the help of a man, but while living with him they were put to work in other people’s homes.
There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). The country was renowned as a sex tourism destination in the 1990s and this legacy is still prevalent today with women and girls trafficked within the thriving sex industry in Cambodia's major cities. Despite significant attempts to curb CSE, NGOs report the industry has been pushed underground and sex offenders are still able to purchase sex with children through an intermediary rather than more overt selling of sex in brothels. Boys and young men are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with many entering the massage industry due to a lack of training and skills. Srey Neth is a young Cambodian victim of human trafficking. In this story she speaks of her experience transitioning from victim to survivor. At 14 she was sold by her mother to a pimp for $300; a week later he sold her virginity for the same price then he forced her to serve 10-20 men per night afterwards. Her refusal was met with beatings or electrocution. Srey Neth was later rescued by police and a non-governmental organization. During her recovery, which unsurprisingly has taken more than five years, she was diagnosed with HIV.
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.
Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. In Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Parliament has identified corruption and the judicial system as reform challenges towards accession talks within the EU. In Greece, the turbulent economic situation has increased vulnerability for populations seeking employment and livelihood opportunities. In Greece, unemployment reached 24.4 percent in January 2016 with a youth unemployment rate of 51.9 percent. Tim thought he had escaped an exploitative situation when he fled the house of his employer. While wandering the streets he was approached by a woman who offered to help him. However, upon arrival at her house, he was forced to undertake all the housework and childcare responsibilities and was prevented from leaving the house except to pick the children up from school.
The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. While the bonded labour system is formally abolished and criminalised, recent research indicated that bonded labour is still prevalent in India. A 2016 report found that in the state of Tamil Nadu, 351 of 743 spinning mills used bonded labour schemes, otherwise known as Sumangali schemes. Similarly in granite quarries, wage advances and loans with an interest ranging from 24% to 36% are used to bond workers. Situations of debt bondage are often aggravated by the need to raise emergency funds or take on loans for health crises. Yogendra tells of his experience as a bonded labourer in Uttar Pradesh. He was approached by a broker offering him 50,000 rupees and a hectare of land if he worked a year. After signing a blank piece of paper, Yogendra received just 37,000 rupees and was forced to work under threats and verbal abuse. Yogendra tells of having to work off money borrowed for his sister’s wedding and his children’s school fees.