Seema was one of an estimated 4 million domestic workers in India. The domestic sector is informal and unregulated, obscured in private homes, and workers are not recognised as such but rather as ‘informal help’. Their wages are, on average, only a third of those in other sectors, they have very limited social protections, and commonly suffer poor working conditions, exploitation, abuse and slavery. Many domestic workers are migrants from poorer states and are among the most marginalised and socially discriminated populations in India. Most of them are Dalits or come from other disadvantaged castes and tribal minorities, many are landless, illiterate and innumerate, which increases their vulnerability and disempowerment.
There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Makuom was born in Akoch Atong Mabil village, north of Aweil town. As a young boy in 1980s his father enrolled him in a school near his village, but a few days later, news was everywhere that Arabs were planning to attack Dinka tribe villages. His father pulled him from school and kept him at home because he was so afraid of Arab attack. At night during the dry season, Arabs attacked his village. Makuom ran and hid in a nearby forest. Many people from his village ran to the forest, but Arabs followed them. His father was killed by Arabs and captured him with others. All children who were captured were forced to walk with Arabs to north Sudan.
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. Penelope’s* father became involved in criminal activity when she was a child which led to the repossession of their house. They moved into his friend’s house and when they became unable to pay rent, her father forced Penelope into child sexual exploitation, offering her to his friends as payment. One night when she was nine years old, Penelope was taken by her father’s friend and locked her in a room, where she was raped for days by adult men. After a few days of ‘breaking in’, Penelope was trafficked across the backroads of Mississippi, forced to see 15-20 men each night. After three years, Penelope’s mother came for her after being left by her father. It was a long road to recovery, Penelope entered into an abusive relationship as a teenager and suffered with alcohol addiction in college. She was finally able to receive help from a friend who introduced her to a church.
Egypt is a source, transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The local dimension of human trafficking includes child labour, the sexual exploitation of children, the sale of human organs, and various forms of prostitution. Children are forced into domestic service, street begging drug trafficking, quarrying, and agricultural work in the country. NGOs report the lack of economic and educational opportunities cause family members to subject women and girls to sex trafficking to supplement family income, and in some cases women and girls are raped to coerce or forced them into prostitution. Child sex tourism occurs in Cairo, Alexandira, and Luxor and Egyptian women and girls are purchased for 'temporary' or 'summer marriages' for the purpose of commercial sex, including sex trafficking, and forced labour. Egyptian adults are subjected to forced labour in construction, agriculture, domestic work, and low-paying service jobs in the region. Refugees from Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen who have settled in Egypt in Egypt are also at an increased risk of trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage, and sexual exploitation. When the civil war in Yemen erupted in 2015, Yehia’s parents advised him to flee to Egypt to avoid conscription by one of the warring factions. Having arrived in Cairo via Sudan, Yehia contacted a smuggler who promised to take him across the sea to Italy. He was taken to a beach near Alexandria with other travellers and boarded a small boat, but the smugglers turned out to be gangsters who robbed the passengers and were going to put them ashore when the Coast Guard arrived and rescued them. Yehia was sent back to Sudan and tried a second time to get to Italy, but this time he was kidnapped and detained on a farm in the Egyptian desert.