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2012 (Narrative date)

Though Europe has the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, it is estimated that 17,500 people are enslaved in the Netherlands. Enslaved people within Europe originate predominantly from Eastern European countries, with forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation remaining the most commonly reported forms of slavery. Cases of forced labour have been reported across Europe in agriculture, forestry, fishery, construction, catering, the textile industry and domestic work.  Within cases formally identified by EU authorities the largest proportion of registered human trafficking victims were female, making up around 80% of all victims.

Tatiana travelled to the Netherlands with her boyfriend to find work. Upon arrival they were met by who she though was her boyfriend’s friend and taken to a flat where they were going to stay. However, when she got to the flat she was told he had been sold to work as a prostitute. Threatening her family if she refused, Tatiana was forced to work as a prostitute in Amsterdam for 6 months. 

He’s been a few times at my parent’s and even my mother like him, and then he started, after half a year “Maybe we can go together to work on our future”. “Maybe to work in West Europe”.

I was talking to my parents about it that I had some plans to leave the country. They were, in the beginning, quite against this. My mother just gave me a small brochure, it was something about trafficking, she said “In case of something because every mother will worry about something”. 

She said “It could happen maybe on the road, somebody could take you or whatever, just have it with you, this number”.

I just threw it away and got angry with her. Why did she give me this, why does she never trust me?

For the moment I just wanted to enjoy the trip, he was quiet, very quiet. We arrived and there was waiting a guy, I think it is his friend. They just go off together, a little bit further on. And then came just the other guy, and he just said to me “We’ll get to the flat where you’ll stay”.

And I just asked, “Where is my boyfriend?” he said, “Oh don’t worry, he’ll come back, he just has to go somewhere and then he’ll come back to the flat too”. “OK!”

When I go in the flat, the guy started to explain to me, he said “You’ve just been sold and you have to work for me. You have to work in prostitution. 

I had like a panic, I started to scream.

When I realized what’s happening, that it was my boyfriend, I just hate him, I don’t know, I trusted him more than my mother. That person who’d been so nice for half a year and I know him so good, just changed and I realized that it was just acting and he did just his job.

And he said “Don’t forget we know where you parents live, we know everything about your sister”. So he said “What do you think? It may be better to take one of your sisters who will pay for your mistake?”

I didn’t know what to do, to call to don’t call, to run away, to don’t run away.

It’s terrible. To think that a strange men, that you have to have sex. That you have to have sex with a total stranger, a dirty man. I cannot describe the feelings, I cannot. How miserable how dirty you feel. I felt really dirty. You feel not yourself, just like a piece of meat, I don’t know what.

Sometimes you have to deal with 9 or 10 men a night. It’s horrible.

So I told clients about my situation, but I never got more than, “oh, I’m sorry for you” or, “it’s a pity” or, it’s too bad for you “or “Oh, this is really terrible.” That’s it. Nothing else.

He wrote everything. How much income and also all the debts, he just told me “you have to put more, you have to pay for the car, you have to put more you have to pay for the food. You have to put more, you have to pay for the rent for this month.”

As told to documentary makers at MTV Exit.