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Babita Tharu

There are an estimated 171,000 people living in modern slavery in Nepal. Within Nepal, bonded labour exists in agriculture, brick kilns, the stone-breaking industry, and domestic work. Sex trafficking of Nepali women and girls increasingly takes place in private apartments, rented rooms, guest houses, and restaurants. Nepali and Indian children are subjected to forced labor in the country, especially in domestic work, brick kilns, and the embroidered textile, or zari, industry. Under false promises of education and work opportunities, Nepali parents give their children to brokers who instead take them to frequently unregistered children’s homes in urban locations, where they are forced to pretend to be orphans to garner donations from tourists and volunteers; some of the children are also forced to beg on the street. According to Human Rights Watch, thirty-seven percent of girls in Nepal marry before age 18 and 10 percent are married by age 15, in spite of the fact that the minimum age of marriage under Nepali law is 20 years of age. UNICEF data indicates that Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia, after Bangladesh and India. Babita Tharu was married at age 11 to a man about 8 years older than her.

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Melissa

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.Melissa was sexually abused from a young age. At the age of 12 she was taken to a warehouse where she was forced to provide sexual services to much older men. Melissa was subjected to extreme physical violence one night when she was set on fire at the age of 13. When authorities tried to return her to her family after the incident, she chose to run away, join a gang and continue a life of prostitution for some time.

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Samjhana

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape. Samjhana was trafficked in to commercial sexual exploitation from Nepal to India. 

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Samina

It is estimated that over 3 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery in Pakistan (GSI 2018). Children are subjected to modern slavery in the form of forced marriage. It is estimated that 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. Child marriage in the country is connected with tradition, culture and custom. It occasionally involves the transfer of money, settlement of debts or exchange of daughters sanctioned by a Jirga or Panchayat.Samina was forced into child marriage as her parents could not afford to support nine girls. 

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Gulnaz

There are an estimated 24,000 people living in modern slavery in Kyrgyzstan and 5,000 in Cyprus (GSI 2018). Kyrgyzstan remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Women from across the former Soviet Republic often travel to neighbouring countries with the promise of jobs as nannies, domestic workers, work in hotels and in the catering and entertainment sectors. However, upon arrival they find themselves sold to a pimp and forced in to sex work to pay off debt incurred for transportation, accommodation and the opportunity. Gulnaz* found a job at a nightclub in Cyprus through a Russian social network site. When she arrived, the club’s owner took her documents and phone, threatened her and beat her. 

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Salima

There are an estimated 24,000 people living in modern slavery in Kyrgyzstan and 509,000 in Turkey (GSI 2018). Kyrgyzstan remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Women from across the former Soviet Republic often travel to neighbouring countries with the promise of jobs as nannies, domestic workers, work in hotels and in the catering and entertainment sectors. However, upon arrival they find themselves sold to a pimp and forced in to sex work to pay off debt incurred for transportation, accommodation and the opportunity. Salima* was trafficked from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey to work as a sex worker.

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Laurence

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported.Laurence was promised decent work in the UK, however upon arrival he was sold from employer to employer, forced to work long hours with no breaks and little pay. 

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John D

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. People are subjected to slavery in the UK in the form of domestic servitude, labour exploitation, organ harvesting and sexual exploitation, with the largest number of potential victims originating from Albania, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported.  In his early twenties, John was seriously assaulted as he walked home to his family. He suffered life threatening injuries which meant he could no longer work to support his family.

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Nabena

There an estimated 131,000 people living in modern slavery in Malawi (GSI 2018). According to Girls Not Brides, one out of every two girls in Malawi will be married by her eighteenth birthday.Nabena was forced into child marriage and as a result became pregnant at a very young age. She tells of her experience of pregnancy, childbirth and being forced to work long hours in heaby labour for little pay to support her child.

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Ndaziona

There an estimated 131,000 people living in modern slavery in Malawi (GSI 2018). According to Girls Not Brides, one out of every two girls in Malawi will be married by her eighteenth birthday.Ndaziona was forced to leave education and get married at a young age.

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Elina

There an estimated 131,000 people living in modern slavery in Malawi (GSI 2018). According to Girls Not Brides, one out of every two girls in Malawi will be married by her eighteenth birthday.Elina was forced to marry at 15 years old.

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Reena

India has a population of more than 1.3 billion people, there are still at least 270 million people living on less than US$1.90 per day. While laws, systems and attitudes regarding key 'fault lines' such as the caste system, gender and feudalism are rapidly changing, social change of this depth and scale necessarily takes time. In this context, it is perhaps unsurprising that existing research suggests that all forms of modern slavery continue to exist in India, including intergenerational bonded labour, forced child labour, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging, forced recruitment into nonstate armed groups and forced marriage. According to Girls Not Brides, more than one third of young brides live in India. In the states of Jharkhand and Bihar, 50-60% of girls are married before they turn 18.Reena was forced in to marriage before her 18th birthday.

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Peres

There are an estimated 328,000 people living in conditions of slavery in Kenya (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are subjected to exploitation amounting to modern slavery in forced labour and sex trafficking. Children are often subjected to forced labour in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending and begging. They are also victims of commercial sexual exploitation throughout the country, in khat cultivation areas, near gold mines and along the highway and Lake Victoria. Moreover, those residing in Kenya's largest refugee camp Dadaab are often vulnerable. Men and women are often lured by employment agencies offering attractive job opportunities, then find themselves trapped in domestic servitude, massage parlors and brothels or forced manual labour.Peres was forced in to child marriage in Kenya.

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Melka

There are an estimated 614,000 people living in modern slavery in Ethiopia. Girls from Ethiopia’s impoverished rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude and commercial sex within the country, while boys are subjected to forced labour in traditional weaving, construction, agriculture, and street vending. Addis Ababa’s central market is the site of numerous brothels, where some young girls are exploited in commercial sex. Ethiopian girls are exploited in domestic servitude and commercial sex in neighbouring African countries, particularly Djibouti and Sudan. According to a 2017 report by UNICEF, 40% of girls are married by the time they turn 18. They found that Ethiopia has the 15th highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world and the fifth highest absolute number of child brides – 2,104,000.Melka was forced to marry a man she did not know when she was 14 years old. Within the marriage she was subjected to physical violence. 

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Maya

There are an estimated 171,000 people living in modern slavery in Nepal. Within Nepal, bonded labour exists in agriculture, brick kilns, the stone-breaking industry, and domestic work. Sex trafficking of Nepali women and girls increasingly takes place in private apartments, rented rooms, guest houses, and restaurants. Nepali and Indian children are subjected to forced labour in the country, especially in domestic work, brick kilns, and the embroidered textile, or zari, industry. Under false promises of education and work opportunities, Nepali parents give their children to brokers who instead take them to frequently unregistered children’s homes in urban locations, where they are forced to pretend to be orphans to garner donations from tourists and volunteers; some of the children are also forced to beg on the street. In 2015, two massive earthquakes hit Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring tens of thousands of others.Maya and her family were left vulnerable after an earthquake and a woman attempted to traffick her from Nepal to India.

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May

There are an estimated 421,000 people living in modern slavery in Vietnam (GSI 2018). Many children from impoverished rural areas, and a rising number from middle class and urban settings, are subjected to sex trafficking. Girls from ethnic minority communities in the northwest highlands are increasingly subjected to forced services, including sex slavery and domestic servitude, by traffickers channeling their criminal activities through the traditional practice of bride kidnapping. Child sex tourists, reportedly from elsewhere in Asia, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States, exploit children in Vietnam. 12-year-old May, a member of the Hmong ethnic group from northern Vietnam’s mountainous Ha Giang province, was a victim of of ‘hai pu’ (literally “pull wife”) or bride kidnapping. Although illegal in Vietnam, bride kidnapping is regularly practised in Hmong communities. May’s new husband, Pao, the boy who kidnapped her, is also 12 years old and works across the border in China as a labourer. May did not know him before the kidnapping.

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Mariama

There are an estimated 133,000 number of people living in modern slavery in Niger. According to Plan International UK, 75 percent of girls in Niger are married before they reach 18 and 36 percent before they are 15 years old. Mariama, 13, lives in Niger. Her mother and uncle sold her as a child bride to a local man, accepting £122 (100,000 CFA) from the man for her daughter’s hand in marriage.

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Layla

There are an estimated 25,000 people living in modern slavery in Tunisia (GSI 2018). In 2017, the government observed an increase in child victims of sexual violence and exploitation, some of whom are victims of trafficking. According to a baseline study published in 2013, conducted by the Tunisian government and an international organization, Tunisian youth are subjected to various forms of trafficking. According to the study and as reported by other experts since 2016, some Tunisian girls work as domestic servants for wealthy families in Tunis and major coastal cities; they are highly vulnerable to trafficking, experiencing restrictions on movement, physical and psychological violence, and sexual abuse. Tunisian women have reportedly been forced into prostitution under false promises of work both within the country and elsewhere in the region, such as Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.After Layla's father lost his job, she was forced to marry at the age of 15. A woman told Layla she could help her escape the physical and sexual abuse she was facing in her marriage. However instead she forced Layla into commercial sexual exploitation. After 4 years, Layla was able to escape to Syria.

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Janu

There are an estimated 171,000 people living in modern slavery in Nepal. Within Nepal, bonded labour exists in agriculture, brick kilns, the stone-breaking industry, and domestic work. Sex trafficking of Nepali women and girls increasingly takes place in private apartments, rented rooms, guest houses, and restaurants. Nepali and Indian children are subjected to forced labor in the country, especially in domestic work, brick kilns, and the embroidered textile, or zari, industry. Under false promises of education and work opportunities, Nepali parents give their children to brokers who instead take them to frequently unregistered children’s homes in urban locations, where they are forced to pretend to be orphans to garner donations from tourists and volunteers; some of the children are also forced to beg on the street.Janu was sent to an orphanage after her parents could no longer afford to look after her. At the orphanage Janu was forced to do all the housework, being subjected to beatings if she did not do the work properly.

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Hirut

Ethiopia’s impoverished rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude and commercial sex within the country, while boys are subjected to forced labour in traditional weaving, construction, agriculture, and street vending. Addis Ababa’s central market is the site of numerous brothels, where some young girls are exploited in commercial sex. Ethiopian girls are exploited in domestic servitude and commercial sex in neighbouring African countries, particularly Djibouti and Sudan. According to a 2017 report by UNICEF, 40% of girls are married by the time they turn 18. They found that Ethiopia has the 15th highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world and the fifth highest absolute number of child brides – 2,104,000. Hirut, 15, was just 12 when a group of men tried to kidnap her while she was on her way home from school.