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2014 (Narrative date)

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. 

Erika left her country at 21 looking for a better life and an independent income. Within hours of arriving in the UK she was holed up in a flat forced to sleep with ten or more clients a night. 

I arrived at the flat and Christina came downstairs and she took me upstairs. She showed me the flat she explained me what to do, how to dress. And then I think an hour later I work straight away. 

I didn’t know what to do. I had to have sex with ten or more men every day. It felt horrible because I was doing something that I didn’t like of course. And I feel like I have to do it, forced. I was here and I couldn’t go back home. I was in pain everywhere. 

I am 24 years old now and I was 21 when I was first forced to sleep with men. I look very young and people liked that very much.  

As told to Santa Marta Group