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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.  At her school in Nigeria, Vera and her brother were being threatened by gangsters. The situation became dangerous, and her mother was very worried about her security. Vera felt she had no other option than to flee from the country. She contacted a smuggler who would take her to Europe via Libya. She was surprised when the woman frankly suggested that she could earn money both in Libya and in Europe as a prostitute. Vera said she would not do such a thing, and the woman did not press the issue. When they arrived in Libya, she called her and told her that now, she must work as a prostitute to pay her debt. 

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Ani R.

There are an estimated 61,000 people living in modern slavery in Saudi Arabia (GSI 2018). It is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked from South and South East Asia and Africa. People voluntarily migrate to the country to work in a variety of sectors including construction and domestic service; many of these workers are vulnerable to forced labour. Traffickers and brokers often illegally recruit migrants to work in Saudi Arabia and subsequently forced them into domestic servitude or debt bondage. Female domestic workers are particularly at risk of trafficking due to their isolation inside private residences. Non-payment or late payment of wages remains a complaint from foreign workers, while employer's withholding of worker's passports remains a significant problem. Trafficking perpetrators include businesses of all sizes, private families, recruitment companies in both Saudi Arabia and labor-sending countries, and organized criminal elements.  A Saudi man, an Indonesian labour agent, and an Indonesian migrant worker deceived Ani R. into believing she was migrating for marriage.  At 17 years old, she married the man to help her family but the dowery promised was not given to Ani R.’s father. While Ani was treated well the first month in Saudi Arabia, after this she was subjected to physical abuse and treated as a domestic worker forced to work long hours in the house under the threat of violence. Ani R., tried to escape but her husband found her at a shelter and bribed police to have her return.