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Angela

Angela Guanzon was brought to the United States from Bacolod City, Philippines, in 2005, to work at an elderly care home in California. But upon arrival she was told she owed $12,000 in fees, to be deducted before wages. She worked 18 hours a day and slept on hallway floors for two and half years. The FBI rescued Angela and several other workers in 2008. Angela testified against her trafficker in criminal court and the woman received a five-year prison sentence. Angela is now a survivor-organizer with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), a nonprofit organization that provided her with shelter and legal assistance.

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Denise

Denise became a child soldier in the Philippines at the age of 16. In the Philippines, where three major insurgent groups have fought the Philippine military since the 1960s, there are an estimated 2000 child soldiers. The Communist-oriented New People’s Army, established in 1968, began an intense recruitment of children in the 1990s. By 2000, some 25 percent of new recruits were children, and more than ten percent of its regular combatants are now under 18. Parents volunteer children to serve as combatants and camp guards. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front allows the training of children as young as 12. Parents volunteer their children, seeing it as an observation of Islamic teaching, and Muslim youth organizations recruit students from schools and colleges. The Abu Sayyaf (“Bearer of the Sword”), a Muslim separatist group which appeared in the late 1980s, uses Islamic religion to draw minors into the movement, for use as combatants, human shields, and hostages.

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Emee

Emee and her brother were taken from her rural community with false promises of work for good money but then enslaved in Manilla. Emee was enslaved within the Philippines but an estimated 10 million Filipinos migrate abroad for work, and many are subjected to human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour throughout Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

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Ganggang

Ganggang was enslaved in the Philippines at the age of 18 and then trafficked to Japan, where she was imprisoned and expected to entertain and have sex with bar customers. In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism.

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Giselle

Giselle became a child soldier in the Philippines at the age of 15. In the Philippines, where three major insurgent groups have fought the Philippine military since the 1960s, there are an estimated 2000 child soldiers. The Communist-oriented New People’s Army, established in 1968, began an intense recruitment of children in the 1990s. By 2000, some 25 percent of new recruits were children, and more than ten percent of its regular combatants are now under 18. Parents volunteer children to serve as combatants and camp guards. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front allows the training of children as young as 12. Parents volunteer their children, seeing it as an observation of Islamic teaching, and Muslim youth organizations recruit students from schools and colleges. The Abu Sayyaf (“Bearer of the Sword”), a Muslim separatist group which appeared in the late 1980s, uses Islamic religion to draw minors into the movement, for use as combatants, human shields, and hostages.

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Jing

Jing was enslaved in the Philippines, sent to the nation’s capital, Manilla, to become a domestic servant and receive education, which she was not given. Later she was sexually abused and prostituted from when she was 12 years old. It was only after getting seriously ill that she was able to return home. In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism.

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Julie

There are an estimated 784,000 people living in modern slavery in the Philippines (GSI 2018).  Men, women and children are subjected forced labour and sex trafficking both within the country and in destination countries. Women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation. Immediately after graduating from high school, Julie was enslaved in Manilla where she danced and entertained customers. She escaped and returned home, but reflects on her friend Carmen who wanted to go to Japan, as they had originally been promised, where she was enslaved in prostitution.

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Aleta

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation. Aleta’s story highlights how children who face abuse at home are particularly vulnerable to enslavement and sexual exploitation.

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Alma

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation. Alma’s story highlights how survivors can use their experiences and knowledge in the fight against slavery and exploitation. Alma works not only to help women to freedom but to change the culture around prostitution, which often works to criminalize and delegitimize the women who are exploited within the industry, while protecting those who exploit.

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Annabel

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Annabel left school at 13 and began working various exploitative jobs, first in domestic service and then in a brothel, where she experienced a police raid. Instead of coming to her rescue, the effect of the police operation was to shame and stigmatize Annabel in her own community, making it harder for her to reintegrate or find other work. Annabel also discusses her future, and what changes she would like to see to prevent vulnerable people becoming enslaved.

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Belen

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Belen was sold into sexual slavery by her mother when she was eight, and although rescued at the age of nine, she ran away from the centre where she lived, run by an NGO, when she was 14. She was recruited back into prostitution.

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Cathy

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Like many others who find themselves enslaved in situations of sexual exploitation, Cathy was told that she owed her employers all of the money she earned, and kept in debt bondage until a police raid that occurred just before her 18th birthday.

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Cristy

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation. Like many others who find themselves enslaved in situations of sexual exploitation, Cristy was told that she owed her employers all of the money she earned, and kept in debt bondage until the brothel was raided by police.

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Elsa

There are an estimated 784,000 people living in modern slavery in the Philippines (GSI 2018).  Men, women and children are subjected forced labour and sex trafficking both within the country and in destination countries. Women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation. Elsa's father died when she was 12. Her mother left soon afterwards and she moved with her brother to live with grandparents who could not afford food and school for her. By working as a housekeeper and janitor, she was able to keep both herself and her brother in school. But then she accepted a new job offer from a bar owner and became trapped in the sex industry. The managers used a complex system of fines and false debt to keep her and the other girls trapped. 16 victims, including Elsa, were freed by police during an operation in 2013. She went on to testify against the traffickers during their trial. She wrote and told her story in 2016 while in her early twenties and a college student. "Elsa" is a pseudonym.

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Ester

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

As a child, Ester had experience of both domestic slavery in her Aunt’s home, as well as forced sexual exploitation, in which her mother was complicit.

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Jovie

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Jovie managed to escape her situation of sex slavery, but remained in prostitution making her own money. She explains that she wants to leave sex work altogether but, because of an addiction to the drugs that she was encouraged to use when she was enslaved, “it’s very hard to get out.”

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Rosanna

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Rosanna travelled to Cebu City under the false pretences of working in a convenience shop, but was instead sexually exploited for a year and a half before she was able to leave the situation.

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Rowena

In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.

Rowena’s account of her route into sexual exploitation highlights that family problems of abuse and poverty make children vulnerable to coercion into the sex industry.

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Sar

The Philippines has one of the largest migratory populations with their national economy largely depending on Overseas Filipino Worker's (OFW) remittances. The OFWs have been deemed the 'new heroes' of the Philippines' economy. However, some OFWs are subjected to exploitation throughout the Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Sar was lured abroad with promises of well-paid work, which she wanted to help pay for her grandmother’s hospitalisation. Instead, she had her passport and cell phone confiscated and was pressured to engage in sex work. Her account describes potential corruption of the immigration office, and problems with trying to reintegrate into her former community.

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Mitos

The United Kingdom remains a significant destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, men and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers are trafficked to the UK for forced labour in agriculture, construction, food processing and domestic servitude. 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. Mitos travelled from the Philippines to work as a maid abroad. Her employers took her passport and refused to allow her to leave, forcing her to travel to the UK. Upon arrival Mitos was forced to be at her employers call 24 hours a day, often working on only 2 hours sleep. She was verbally abused and prevented from leaving the house at any time. Mitos lived like this for 3 years before she was able to escape.