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Saw Htoo

According to the Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 575,000 people living in modern slavery in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Some Tatmadaw personnel, civilian brokers, border guard officials, and EAGs continue to recruit or use child soldiers, particularly in conflict-affected ethnic areas. Civilian recruiters in some cases coerce or offer incentives to children or their families through false promises about working conditions, salary, and promotion opportunities. EAGs force men and boys to serve through intimidation, coercion, threats, arbitrary taxation, and violence. At the age of just 15, Saw Htoo was taken from him family and forcefully recruited into the Burmese military, the Tatmadaw.  

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Asseel

There are an estimated 10,000 people living in modern slavery in Lebanon (GSI 2018). Men, women, and children among the estimated 1.3 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are at high risk of sex trafficking and forced labour. There are some restrictions on Syrians’ ability to work legally in Lebanon and the enforcement of visas and residence permit laws increase this population’s vulnerability to trafficking. Syrians are commonly involved in the exploitation of other Syrians in Lebanon, particularly targeting refugees fleeing the conflict. Syrian children are reportedly vulnerable to forced early marriages—which can lead to commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour—and children displaced within the country continue to be subjected to forced labour, particularly by organized begging rings.  At the age of nine, Asseel* left her native Syria with her family, leaving behind friends and loved ones as the war ravaged her country. Her family began a new life as refugees in Lebanon.

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Adut Ageny

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Adut Ageny was abducted from her village and held in enslavement for five years when she was a child.

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Grace Akello

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Grace Akello was abducted from her high school dorm in October 1996 by the Lord’s Resistance Army. She, along with 29 other girls, was forced to march to Sudan under the threat of death if they could not keep up. Upon arrival, she was given an AK47 and told hunger would teach her to shoot. Grace was subjected to sexual violence for seven months before she was able to escape in April 1997.

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Hanan

Since the war broke out in Syria, child marriage rates have risen sharply. Before the war, child marriage did happen. But conflict has exacerbated many of the factors that push families into marrying their daughters off, such as insecurity, poverty and lack of education. In just three years from 2011 to 2014, child marriage rates increased almost threefold.   Hanan is living in a refugee community in Lebanon. She receives support from Girls Not Brides member SB Overseas. SB Overseas runs education programmes to help young refugees get back into the school system. They also run educational support programmes for older children, awareness sessions and psychological support sessions for children and young people. They also teach women vocational skills so they can support themselves and their families, and distribute clothing and aid.  

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Maisa

Since the war broke out in Syria, child marriage rates have risen sharply. Before the war, child marriage did happen. But conflict has exacerbated many of the factors that push families into marrying their daughters off, such as insecurity, poverty and lack of education. In just three years from 2011 to 2014, child marriage rates increased almost threefold.   Maisa is living in a refugee community in Lebanon. She receives support from Girls Not Brides member SB Overseas. SB Overseas runs education programmes to help young refugees get back into the school system. They also run educational support programmes for older children, awareness sessions and psychological support sessions for children and young people. They also teach women vocational skills so they can support themselves and their families, and distribute clothing and aid.  

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Agol Chan Gop

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Agol Chan Gop was kidnapped as a young girl and forced to be the wife of a man named Ibrahim. Agol was forced to do all the housework and was raped repeatedly, having two children by Ibrahim. Agol was also subjected to forced female circumcision and had her children taken away from her.

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Abuk Garang Thiep

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Abuk Garang Thiep was taken from South Sudan in 1997 and forced to work for her master, cooking and washing his clothes. Abuk was also subjected to forced female circumcision and forced her to marry an Arab man. Abuk was rescued by a slave retriever but forced to leave her children behind.

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Aguil Mawien Tang

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Aguil Mawien Tang was abducted from Marial Bai in South Sudan in 1996. On the way North Aguil recounts how people were beaten and killed on the journey and how slave raiders raped the women. Aguil was raped and beaten by two groups of men. Upon arrival in the North, Aguil was forced to work for one of the raiders that had raped her. Aguil was finally able to leave with the help of a slave retriever.

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Agany Ateny Angony

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Agany Ateny Angony was abducted from South Sudan in 1986. Upon arrival in the North Agany was told that if he wanted to be free he must become a Muslim. After his conversion the beatings stopped but he was still unable to leave and forced to work. Agany eventually escaped to join his two wives in an IDP camp, however life there was no better. He finally returned to South Sudan with the help of a slave retriever.

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Ayak Piol Mabior

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Ayak Piol Mabior was abducted from South Sudan with her mother and siblings and taken to the North. Her two brother died on the journey and Ayak was separated from the rest of her family upon arrival. Ayak was subjected to physical abuse and sexual violence on a regular basis. Ayak met a free worker named Rau and secretly became his wife, running away to Rau’s house when she became pregnant.

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Nyang Deng Jiel

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Nyang Deng Jiel was taken as a young child to the North and forced to look after his kidnapper’s cattle. Nyang was subjected to regular beatings and had his food withheld. Nyang was finally rescued by a slave retriever.

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Amel Dor Manyuol

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Amel Dor Manyuol was taken by the murahileen in 2000. Amel was forced to work in the home of one of her kidnappers in the North and was subjected to beatings on a regular basis. Amel was also raped and subjected to forced female genital mutilation.

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Abuk Alieu Yom

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Abuk Ucoak Bol was kidnapped in 1986 by the murahileen during a time of famine. Her parents and one of her children were killed when trying to prevent them being separated. Abuk was subjected to rape, beatings and forced to wash and clean for the man who killed her parents.

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Abuk Ucoak Bol

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Abuk Ucoak Bol was kidnapped in 1986 by the murahileen during a time of famine. Her parents and one of her children were killed when trying to prevent them being separated. Abuk was subjected to rape, beatings and forced to wash and clean for the man who killed her parents.

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Akeen Gon Bol and Achol Deng

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Between 1983 and 2005, the central government of Sudan enslaved tens of thousands of black South Sudanese Christian and traditionalist people. It was part of a genocidal war against South Sudan, with a simple aim: to force South Sudan to become Arab and Muslim. Akeen was just a toddler when he was abducted by the murahileen and taken to Matek.

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Michel Chikwanine

There are an estimated 1,045,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (GSI 2018). In 2016 several armed groups continued to abduct and forcibly recruit men, women and children as combatants and in support roles such as guards, cleaners, cooks and spies.  In 2016, 184 cases of child soldiers were reported, with 1,662 children reported to have seperated or escaped from armed groups. Child soldiers who manage to escape remain vulnerable to re-recruitment as adeqaute rehabilitation services remain unavailable to children suffering trauma, stigmatisation and the continued threat of armed groups.   Michel Chikwanine was 5 years old when he was abducted by rebel soldiers while playing football with his friends. Driven for hours to an unknown location, when Michel and his friends finally stepped out of the trucks, they were drugged, blindfolded, given guns, and forced to shoot each other. For two weeks Michel was subjected to ‘training’ and then taken with other child soldiers to ‘take over’ a village. Michel was able to escape, running for 3 days and 3 nights through the jungle back to his home village. Michel now lives in Canada and is studying at university alongside working as a survivor advocate to eradicate the use of child soldiers.  

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Martine

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many women in the country.     Martine, 32, was at her family’s home in Bambari when Seleka forces attacked the town in December 2013. She watched as Seleka fighters forced her husband and older brother to dig two graves and then shot them. The Seleka took Martine captive along with more than 20 other women and girls, some as young as 12. 

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Angèle

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country.   Angèle, 27, became pregnant and gave birth to a child as a result of repeated rape after Seleka fighters killed her husband and took her near Bambari in June 2014 and held her in sexual slavery for nine months with five other women and girls. 

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Zeinaba

The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country.  Zeinaba was 12 years old when she was captured by the anti-balaka and spent a week being raped and forced to cook and clean for the militia group under the threat of physical violence.