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Wati S.

There are an estimated 61,000 people living in modern slavery in Saudi Arabia (GSI 2018). It is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked from South and South East Asia and Africa. People voluntarily migrate to the country to work in a variety of sectors including construction and domestic service; many of these workers are vulnerable to forced labour. Traffickers and brokers often illegally recruit migrants to work in Saudi Arabia and subsequently forced them into domestic servitude or debt bondage. Female domestic workers are particularly at risk of trafficking due to their isolation inside private residences. Non-payment or late payment of wages remains a complaint from foreign workers, while employer's withholding of worker's passports remains a significant problem. Trafficking perpetrators include businesses of all sizes, private families, recruitment companies in both Saudi Arabia and labor-sending countries and organized criminal elements. Wati S., a19-year-old Indonesia domestic worker at the time of the interview, travelled to Saudi Arabia for work. She was locked in the house, forced to work long hours and beaten almost every day.

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Ani R.

There are an estimated 61,000 people living in modern slavery in Saudi Arabia (GSI 2018). It is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked from South and South East Asia and Africa. People voluntarily migrate to the country to work in a variety of sectors including construction and domestic service; many of these workers are vulnerable to forced labour. Traffickers and brokers often illegally recruit migrants to work in Saudi Arabia and subsequently forced them into domestic servitude or debt bondage. Female domestic workers are particularly at risk of trafficking due to their isolation inside private residences. Non-payment or late payment of wages remains a complaint from foreign workers, while employer's withholding of worker's passports remains a significant problem. Trafficking perpetrators include businesses of all sizes, private families, recruitment companies in both Saudi Arabia and labor-sending countries, and organized criminal elements.  A Saudi man, an Indonesian labour agent, and an Indonesian migrant worker deceived Ani R. into believing she was migrating for marriage.  At 17 years old, she married the man to help her family but the dowery promised was not given to Ani R.’s father. While Ani was treated well the first month in Saudi Arabia, after this she was subjected to physical abuse and treated as a domestic worker forced to work long hours in the house under the threat of violence. Ani R., tried to escape but her husband found her at a shelter and bribed police to have her return. 

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Nour Miyati

There are an estimated 61,000 people living in modern slavery in Saudi Arabia (GSI 2018). It is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked from South and South East Asia and Africa. People voluntarily migrate to the country to work in a variety of sectors including construction and domestic service; many of these workers are vulnerable to forced labour. Traffickers and brokers often illegally recruit migrants to work in Saudi Arabia and subsequently forced them into domestic servitude or debt bondage. Female domestic workers are particularly at risk of trafficking due to their isolation inside private residences. Non-payment or late payment of wages remains a complaint from foreign workers, while employer's withholding of worker's passports remains a significant problem. Trafficking perpetrators include businesses of all sizes, private families, recruitment companies in both Saudi Arabia and labor-sending countries, and organized criminal elements.   Nour Miyati had migrated for work twice previously and had good experiences. However the third time she was subjected to physical abuse from her employer, forced to work long hours, had her passport confiscated and was never paid for her labour. When she was finally able to escape Nour filed criminal charges against her employers. The criminal proceedings stretched over three years, while Nour Miyati  waited in the overcrowded Indonesian embassy shelter for its resolution. A Riyadh court initially convicted Nour Miyati of making false allegations, sentencing her to 79 lashes, but later overturned this decision. The court dropped charges against her male employer. It sentenced the female employer to 35 lashes for committing abuse, but on May 19, 2008, a judge also dropped the charges against the female employer. That judge still awarded Nour Miyati 2,500 riyals ($668) in compensation, a small fraction of the amounts typically awarded for the types of injuries sustained.   

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Aja

There are an estimated 17,000 people living in modern slavery in Jordan (GSI 2018). Jordan is a source, transit and destination country for adults and children subjected to forced labour, domestic servitude and sex trafficking. People are trafficked primarily from South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Egypt and Syria. Forced labour victims experience withheld or non-payment wages, confiscation of identity documents, restricted freedom of movement, unsafe living conditions, long hours without rest, isolation, and verbal and physical abuse. Jordan relies on foreign migrant workers – many of whom are undocumented – in several sectors, including construction, agriculture, textiles, and domestic work. Aja* travelled to Jordan for work after the death of her husband. After six months her wages were withheld and she was subjected to physical abuse by her employer.

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Abebi

There is an estimated 48,000 people living in modern slavery in Libya (GSI 2018). Libya is a major transit destination for migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe by sea. Human trafficking networks have prospered amid lawlessness, created by the warring militias that have been fighting for control of territories since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Highly organized trafficking and migrants smuggling networks that reach into Libya from Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and other sub-Saharan states subject migrants to forced labor and forced prostitution through fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or non-payment of wages, debt bondage, and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. In some cases, migrants reportedly pay smuggling fees to reach Tripoli, but once they cross the Libyan border they are sometimes abandoned in southern cities or the desert where they are susceptible to severe forms of abuse and human trafficking. Abebi*, a small business owner, was in need of more income after the death of her husband. She was targeted by a woman and told she could travel to Egypt to buy goods for her shop. Abebi paid the woman for a passport and ticket to Egypt, however she found herself in Libya where she was sold into domestic servitude.

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Esosa

There are an estimated 1,386,000 people living in modern slavery in Nigeria (GSI 2018). Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking, and a source country for men subjected to forced labour. Women and girls are victims of forced labour in domestic service both within the country as well as being trafficked to other West and Central African countries.  Esosa experienced trafficking and domestic servitude in Nigeria. She was then able to return to school and went on to study theatre arts at university. She is now a professional dancer and performer. Esosa supports anti-trafficking efforts in her community, including through NGO Y, by choreographing performances to raise awareness of the dangers of irregular migration.

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Avery

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. Avery* was 12 years old when she was trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation by a woman who promised her a job in modelling. She was kidnapped, beaten, raped, deprived of food and water, and when she returned home remained under the control of her trafficker until she was 18 years old.

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E.R.

There are an estimated 145,000 people liing in conditions of modern slavery in Italy (GSI 2018). Italy is a destination, transit, and source country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims originate from Nigeria, Romania, Morocco, China, and other countries. Female victims are often subjected to sex trafficking in Italy after accepting promises of employment as dancers, singers, models, restaurant servers, or caregivers. Romanian and Albanian criminal groups force Eastern European women and girls into commercial sex. E.R. was 15 when she was forced to marry a man she did not know over twice her age. After leaving her forced marriage, she was disowned by her family and forced into prostitution in Italy by a man she believed loved her. E.R. was subjected to rape and beatings daily before she was rescued by a friend and taken back to Albania. However, E.R. has been unable to leave prostitution in her attempts to look after her son.

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V.

There are an estimated 145,000 people liing in conditions of modern slavery in Italy (GSI 2018). Italy is a destination, transit, and source country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims originate from Nigeria, Romania, Morocco, China, and other countries. Female victims are often subjected to sex trafficking in Italy after accepting promises of employment as dancers, singers, models, restaurant servers, or caregivers. Romanian and Albanian criminal groups force Eastern European women and girls into commercial sex. V was thirteen years old when she was trafficked to Italy by a boy she believed loved her and who had asked her to marry him. Upon arrival in Italy, V was locked in a hotel room, raped, beaten and forced into prostitution. After three weeks of exploitation, V was arrested and deported back to Albania.

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M.

There are an estimated 23,000 people in modern slavery in Belgium (GSI 2018). People are subjected to sex and labour trafficking in the country, with foreign-born people coming primarily from Asia, Eastern Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. Labour traffickers exploit men in restaurants, bars, sweatshops, horticulture, fruit farms, construction, cleaning businesses and retail shops, they also exploit foreign workers in domestic servitude. Sex trafficker exploit Belgian girls, some of whom recruited by local pimps, and foreign children, including Roma. Forced begging within the Romani community in Belgium also occurs, while asylum seekers often have their applications for legal status denied, increasing their vulnerability to trafficking. M was walking to a friend’s house when she was abducted and taken to a house in Vlore where other girls were being kept. After being held there for two weeks, M was smuggled by boat to Italy and then on to Paris by train and then on again to Brussels. Upon arrival, M was forced into prostitution, subjected to physical and sexual abuse daily. One night, M was rescued by police who referred her to a shelter who are assisting M in reuniting with her family.

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O.

There are an estimated 145,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Italy (GSI 2018). Italy is a destination, transit, and source country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims originate from Nigeria, Romania, Morocco, China, and other countries. Female victims are often subjected to sex trafficking in Italy after accepting promises of employment as dancers, singers, models, restaurant servers, or caregivers. Romanian and Albanian criminal groups force Eastern European women and girls into commercial sex. O.’s was forced to marry a man she did not know when she was 14-years old and move to Greece to live with her ‘husband’. She was subjected to physical abuse daily and left after 3 weeks. A neighbour promised to find her a job in Italy, where she travelled to illegally by boat. However, upon arrival she was forced into prostitution, beaten daily until she agreed to work on the streets. O. was able to leave her situation when the police caught her and took her to a centre for minors, where she stayed for a year and a half.

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Ariana

 ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters. Ariana was kidnapped by ISIS in August 2014 when they invaded her school, divided the girls up and sold them. Ariana was held in ISIS captivity for 9 months and sold five times to different men. She was finally able to escape when she convinced one of the men to sell her back to her family.

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Ram

There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). The country is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Thailand’s commercial sex indusrty remains vast, increasing vulnerabilities for sex trafficking. Children are victims of sex trafficking in brothels, massage parlours, bars, karaoke lounges, hotels and private residences. People are trafficked from other Southeast Asian countries, Sri Lanka, Russia, Uzbekistan and some African countries. It is also a transit country for people from China, North Korea, Bangladesh, India and Burma. Ram ran away from an abusive home and was forced to live on the streets. One day while stealing food from a local market, Ram was kidnapped by a street gang. Ram was forced to steal from tourists during the day and at night was sold for sex to older men. Ram’s exploitation finally came to an end when his trafficker was arrested.

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Chantin

There are an estimated 171,000 people living in modern slavery in Nepal. Internal trafficking is significant in Nepal. Girls are trafficked internally for forced labour, sexual exploitation and forced marriage. A significant number of girls are estimated to be trafficked for sexual exploitation in Kathmandu’s entertainment sector and across the open border with India to Mumbai and other urban centres. Recent research in Kathmandu found that between 40 and 60 per cent of the females interviewed in entertainment sector workplaces (massage parlours, dance bars and cabin restaurants) were under the age of 19. Poverty is a significant driving factor for the exploitation and forced marriage of young girls in the country as although levels are declining, an estimated 10 million people live on incomes between USD1.90 and USD3.20 a day. Chantin was forced to marry a man she did not know when she was 21 years old. Her husband and his family would beat her, restrict food and force her to work ‘like a servant’.

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Alisha A

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. Alisha hoped to continue her studies but her family’s financial needs led her to take a job as a domestic worker in Kathmandu. Alisha was forced to work long hours with no breaks, had her food and movement restricted and was subjected to physical abuse by her employer.

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Aamuktha

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, guesthouses, 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. Aamuktha convinced her father to let her go to Kathmandu to get a job instead of being forced to marry at a young age. However, Aamuktha was convinced to start selling drugs and travelled to India with another young girl where she was sold to a brothel. Subjected to daily beatings and raped, Aamuktha was finally able to escape by feigning illness.

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Phuong-Anh Vu

There are an estimated 17,000 people living in modern slavery in Jordan (GSI 2018). Jordan is a source, transit and destination country for adults and children subjected to forced labour, domestic servitude and sex trafficking. People are trafficked primarily from South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Egypt and Syria. Forced labour victims experience withheld or non-payment wages, confiscation of identity documents, restricted freedom of movement, unsafe living conditions, long hours without rest, isolation, and verbal and physical abuse. Jordan relies on foreign migrant workers – many of whom are undocumented – in several sectors, including construction, agriculture, textiles, and domestic work. Phuong-Anh Vu paid a large sum of money to participate in the labour export program in 2008. She was transferred to Jordan to work in a sewing factory. Upon arrival Phuong-Anh discovered that she was to work long hours for very little pay. When she and others went on strike, her employers restricted her food and water and subjected all strikers to severe beatings. Phuong-Ang was taken to Thailand by the Vietnamese government after contacting a newspaper about her working conditions.

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Marisol

There are an estimated 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). The US attracts migrants and refugees who are particularly at risk of vulnerability to human trafficking. Trafficking victims often responding to fraudulent offers of employment in the US migrate willingly and are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in industries such as forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Marisol Garcia Bejarano spent seventeen years in prison for a crime she did not commit. A survivor of human trafficking she was trafficked from Tijuana to California and was raped and beaten by her trafficker. Marisol witnessed a murder committed by the man who bought her for $200 when she was just thirteen years old. After years of holding her as his domestic servant and sexual slave, he then framed Marisol for his murder, and she went to a California prison for his crime.

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Claudia

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.   Claudia joined the armed group Nyatura in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She tells of her ordeal.

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Ja Tsin Mai

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. Ja Tsin Mai was 20 years old when she took a job as a nanny for a relative. Once in China, the relative urged Ja Tsin Mai to marry. When she refused the relative chose a buyer, took the money and handed over Ja Tsin Mai. She was held for a year and subjected to escalating physical and sexual violence. Ja Tsin Mai eventually managed to get 100 yuan from friends ($16) and when a relative of her captors came to visit and her mother-in-law was distracted, she hailed a car on a nearby road.