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  • Country contains "Mexico (slavery location)"
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Frances

There are an estimated 341,000 people living in modern slavery in Mexico (GSI 2018). Sex trafficking remains prevalent in the country, with the city of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala being dubbed the sex trafficking capital of the world. Women and young girls are often manipulated into 'love relationships' with local men who earn their trust and then trap them into forced prostitution. NGOs have revealed that the commercial sexual exploitation of Mexican girls occurs on a daily basis. Frances was born in Jalisco, Mexico. She was from a poor family and had little to eat as a child. Her sister died of starvation when they were children. When Frances was 14, she left home to go to Guadalajara and obtained a job as a maid, sending what little earnings she made home. When she was 16, an older woman approached Frances and offered her a job as a waitress at La Perla restaurant on the boarder of Texas in a town called Villa Acuña. However, upon arrival Frances found there was no restaurant. The Pearl was a house in the middle of nowhere. It was a brothel. Frances was forced to provide sexual services to US servicemen. Frances was finally able to escape when she fell in love with one of the customers, William. William took Frances to New York in 1952, where they married and started a family.

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Maria

Mexico has one of the largest child labour forces in Latin America with 3.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently employed in some way. This has made children one of the most vulnerable groups of people subjected to labour exploitation in the country. 42.5 percent of children working in Mexico do not receive any income for their labour. The current prevalence of poverty in the country has meant that many families require children to contribute to the household income in order to survive. Moreover Mexico is home to thousands of street children who constitute a particularly vulnerable group often subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation. Maria was taken by her aunt to a family for whom she was to provide domestic work. Though initially treated well, Maria was soon forced to work long hours, providing the family with anything they needed and cleaning up after them. Maria was also required to sell firecrackers at the local market, subjected to physical abuse if she did not manage to sell them. Eventually Maria was able to escape after telling a woman at the market that she needed help and calling the police.  

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Marcela

Sex trafficking remains prevalent in Mexico with the city of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala being dubbed the sex trafficking capital of the world. Women and young girls are often manipulated into 'love relationships' with local men who earn their trust and then trap them into forced prostitution. NGOs have revealed that the commercial sexual exploitation of Mexican girls occurs on a daily basis. Marcela tells of how she was tricked into one of these ‘love relationships’ at 13 years old after being approached by a man at a bus stop. She describes how after moving in with him he sent her to meet a girl at a ‘hotel’ and was taught how to provide sex work. Though she had heard stories of girls being killed, after a couple of years Marcela was able to escape and accuse the trafficker who had tricked her into prostitution.

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Laura

Sex trafficking remains prevalent in Mexico with the city of Tenancingo, Tlaxcala being dubbed the sex trafficking capital of the world. Women and young girls are often manipulated into 'love relationships' with local men who earn their trust and then trap them into forced prostitution. NGOs have revealed that the commercial sexual exploitation of Mexican girls occurs on a daily basis. Laura was 17 years old when she was seduced and deceived by a man who prostituted her for over a year. Telling her he was in love her this man persuaded Laura to live with him and after a while sent her to work with other girls at a ‘hotel’, keeping all the money she earned for himself. Laura was eventually rescued by a police operation. 

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Jose

Mexico has one of the largest child labour forces in Latin America with 3.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently employed in some way. This has made children one of the most vulnerable groups of people subjected to labour exploitation in the country. 42.5 percent of children working in Mexico do not receive any income for their labour. The current prevalence of poverty in the country has meant that many families require children to contribute to the household income in order to survive. Moreover Mexico is home to thousands of street children who constitute a particularly vulnerable group often subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation. Jose was just 7 years old when he ran away from a neglectful home environment and began living on the streets of Mexico. One day he was approached by a boy who offered him a place to stay. When he arrived at the house he was told that he would have to work to earn his keep. Jose was exploited for his labour, became addicted to drugs and was recruited by a gang who made him sell in exchange for feeding his addiction. Jose was rescued by a woman from an NGO and is now an ‘older brother’ in the organisation, working to help children like himself.

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Karla

Karla Jacinto Romero was trafficked by a 22-year-old man at the age of 12, and enslaved until the age of 16 in brothels, roadside motels and homes in Guadalajara and other cities in Mexico. She estimates that she was raped 43,000 times, by 30 people a day for seven days a week during four years. She gave birth at 15 to a baby. The baby's father, a pimp, used the child to further control Karla, threatening to kill the baby if Karla tried to escape or resist.Karla was rescued during an anti-trafficking operation in Mexico City in 2008. She has shared her antislavery message with the US Congress, the Mexican House of Representatives, and the Vatican. Her testimony was used as evidence in support for H.R. 515 or Megan's Law that mandates U.S. authorities share information pertaining to American child sex offenders when these convicts attempt to travel abroad.