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A wooding post on the Juapa

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The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country.   Amira, 16, said that anti-balaka held her near Yaloké, in the Ombella-M’poko province, for 18 months beginning around February 2014, along with two other Muslim women who suffered similar abuse, one of whom was pregnant at the time. She was beaten with a whip and a machete, subjected to repeated gang rape, and made to do housework. 

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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. Amobi* moved to Benin after the death of his father. He was told to travel to Europe through Libya, where he was trafficked through debt bondage.

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Ana B

There are an estimated 57,700 people in modern slavery in the US according to GSI estimates. 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. Low, semi- and unskilled domestic and foreign labourers are at risk of forced labour within the agricultural sector. Migrants from Mexico have been found in conditions of forced labour in the USA, where they are subjected to poor living and working conditions including excessive working hours, withholding and non-payment of salaries, confinement to plantations, refusal of medical care and physical and sexual abuse. Ana crossed the Mexico-US border seeking the American Dream and to provide a better life for her son. However instead, she found herself forced to work long hours picking fruit, with little pay and poor living conditions under the threat of violence. Ana was finally freed when two people she had asked for help called the police.

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The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia.  In 2009 Artem, a 56-year-old Hungarian, was working as a builder and bus driver. The recession left him unemployed, homeless, and supporting his elderly mother. Duped by false promises he came to the UK. He was forced to live in a small house with 25 men, working 70 hours per week for £10. He escaped, living in disused garages but was re-trafficked twice and was too afraid to leave for fear of becoming homeless again. Artem was found by police after a failed suicide attempt. He was identified as a victim of human trafficking and moved to safe accommodation in Birmingham in 2014.

Boat building shed at Loanda

Bolobo fishers with their produce

Bolobo fishers with their produce

Bolobo fishers with their produce at Leopoldville

Bolobo fishers, with their produce for sale at Leopoldville

Bolobo traders with their produce, brought by canoe over 200 miles



The internal migration of Chinese people seeking work has created an opportunity for human traffickers in China. Moreover the gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. The prevalence of poverty in China makes the poor more vulnerable to enslavement. With the National Bureau of Statistics estimating that 70,170,000 are still living in poverty, people are more desperate and thus more likely to be receptive to fraudulent job offers. Bopha  left her factory job in Phnom Penh when she was told she could find work with a high salary in China. However, upon arrival Bopha was taken to the Bride Market and sold to a man with mental health issues.

Brick burning at Bonginda, upper Congo

Bringing loads of Cocoa to the train at Temvo, Mayumbe Country



It is estimated that 425,500 people are enslaved in Thailand, with the many subjected to forced labour. Women overseas-workers most often find employment in private households or service sectors, often finding themselves having to pay significant fees for the migration and recruitment process. Domestic servitude is also prevalent with the majority of enslaved being women from rural Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Victims are often physically and sexually abused, confined to the house and find their pay and identity documents withheld.  Buy fled his home in Myanmar after he was forced to join the army and travelled to Thailand. In Thailand, Buy worked for two or three years in the agricultural sector without pay. When he did start asking for the wages that were owed to him, his employers called the police, and because he was undocumented, Buy was arrested. Buy found his way to the Chai Lai Eco Retreat which helps undocumented workers who have been trafficked in Thailand. They assisted him in getting a passport and work permit which ensures he is paid minimum wage.

Chinaman labourer living at Gaboon, French Congo

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It is estimated that almost 8 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery in India (GSI 2018). The skewed sex ratio in some regions of India has fuelled the trafficking and selling of women and young girls as brides within India. Women are reportedly sold off into marriage by their families, sometimes at a young age, and end up enduring severe abuse, rape and exploitation by their husbands. It is also reported that women and girls from impoverished backgrounds have been lured by promises of marriage by younger men from urban areas, then forced into sex work once married.  Chittamma was forced to marry her cousin when she was 17 years old. Though Chittamma goes out for wage work, everything she earns is given to her husband and she does not have enough food to eat.

Cloth weaving at Luebo, upper Kasai

Cocoa barrels rolled down from the hinterland to the coast.

Cocoa Plantation, Dodowa. Hinterland of the Gold Coast.