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Wendy

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. Wendy Barnes was trafficked from the age of 15 across the US West Coast for nearly 15 years, from the mid 1980s until 2000. Her trafficker, Gregory Leon Hightower, was eventually arrested and sentenced to life in prison in Oregon. Wendy now lives in Southern California and works full time as a customer service representative. Her narrative is from an interview with Francine Sporenda for the Révolution Féministe website, originally published in French and then in English by Nordic Model Now!, a UK secular, feminist, grassroots women’s group campaigning for the abolition of prostitution and related practices. Wendy has published a book about her experiences titled And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom (2015).

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DE

There are an estimated 10,000 people living in modern slavery in Hong Kong (GSI 2018). Approximately 370,000 foreign domestic workers, primarily from Indonesia and the Philippines, work in Hong Kong; some become victims of forced labour in the private homes in which they are employed. An NGO report released in 2016 estimated as many as one in six foreign domestic workers is a victim of labour exploitation. Employment agencies often charge job placement fees in excess of legal limits, and sometimes withhold identity documents, which may lead to situations of debt bondage of workers in Hong Kong. The accumulated debts sometimes amount to a significant portion of the worker’s first year salary. Some employers or employment agencies illegally withhold passports, employment contracts, or other possessions until the debt is paid. Some workers are required to work up to 17 hours per day, experience verbal, sexual or physical abuse in the home, and/or are not granted a legally required weekly day off.   DE, a 24-year-old woman from Malang was made to work more than 18 hours a day, seven days a week:

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BL

There are an estimated 10,000 people living in modern slavery in Hong Kong (GSI 2018). Approximately 370,000 foreign domestic workers, primarily from Indonesia and the Philippines, work in Hong Kong; some become victims of forced labour in the private homes in which they are employed. An NGO report released in 2016 estimated as many as one in six foreign domestic workers is a victim of labour exploitation. Employment agencies often charge job placement fees in excess of legal limits, and sometimes withhold identity documents, which may lead to situations of debt bondage of workers in Hong Kong. The accumulated debts sometimes amount to a significant portion of the worker’s first year salary. Some employers or employment agencies illegally withhold passports, employment contracts, or other possessions until the debt is paid. Some workers are required to work up to 17 hours per day, experience verbal, sexual or physical abuse in the home, and/or are not granted a legally required weekly day off.  BL, an Indonesian migrant domestic worker in Hong Kong

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Sophea Touch

There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). All of Cambodia's 25 provinces are sources for human trafficking. Cambodian women and girls move from rural areas to cities and tourist destinations where they are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, beer gardens, massage parlours and salons. Children from impoverished families are vulnerable to forced labour, often with the complicity of their families, including in domestic servitude and forced begging or street vending in Thailand and Vietnam.  When Sophea was 3 or 4 years old, she was taken 300km away from her home with a woman she did not know. The woman forced her to abandon her education and sell cakes in the village. When she was 11 years old, Sophea escaped.

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R-Sone

There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). Women and girls, many younger than 18 years old, are exploited in Thailand’s commercial sex industry and in forced labour in domestic service, factories, or agriculture. R-Sone, the eldest of five children, lived with her parents in the southern Laos. She was only able to complete grade three before she had to drop out from school because her parents could not support her. At that time, at just 13-years-old, she decided to leave her village to look for a job in Thailand. She believed that she would earn a higher salary if she worked outside Laos. R-Sone and four friends left their village together to meet the Lao-broker in a nearby village. There he hid them in a farm hut until a tuk tuk arrived to take them to cross the border by small boat to Thailand. They did not have any documentation. After arriving in Moukdahan, Thailand, they were taken to Bangkok where they were sent to work in a plastic shop. After three days, R-stone asked for a different job because the shop was open very late. She was transferred to a pork-grinding factory but was only there for a short time before a Thai-broker took her to work as a housekeeper.

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Promise

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). 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. 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. Nigerian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking within Nigeria and throughout Europe, including in Italy, Spain, Austria, and Russia. While some sex trafficking victims arrive in Europe believing they will be working in prostitution, traffickers coerce them to stay in prostitution by changing the working conditions and increasing victims’ travel debts. Promise grew up in Nigeria. At 17 years old she was beaten after being caught having sexual relations with another woman who died as a result of her injuries. Promise went to her aunt’s house for protection, but ended up being sold as a sex worker. She fled to the UK where she was put in foster care, but later ran away and was forced into sex work by a man she thought would protect her.

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Princess

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.  Princess, a mother of four children and a grandmother of two, was a cook in a traditional restaurant in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. In 1999 she was approached by a woman who visited the restaurant and promised her a job as a cook in Italy. She was invited to a luxury hotel in Benin City – the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria.  Unfortunately, the life-changing opportunity on offer was anything but. The Italian woman was a Madam from Turin and, having brought Princess into the country, sold her into prostitution and told her she would have to repay $45,000. 

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Ngalali

There are an estimated 336,000 people living in modern slavery in Tanzania (GSI 2018). According to Equality Now, 31 percent of girls in Tanzania are married before they turn 18. Poverty is the primary driving force of child marriage in the country. Families who are unable to pay for a girl’s school fees, food, or other basic costs see child marriage as a way to ensure a daughter’s security. A daughter’s bride price is often tied to her virginity and is seen as a way to alleviate poverty, with families receiving cattle, money, or other valuable goods. “Cutting,” known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is the partial or complete removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. FGM and child marriage are not always linked, and the relationship between the two practices may vary within the same country, but in some contexts, girls may undergo FGM to prepare them for marriage. When Ngalali, a member of the Massai people in Tanzania, was 13, she made a decision that saved her life. Thanks to the enforcement of Tanzania’s child marriage laws, Ngalali was spared a very different future than the one she envisioned for herself.

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Maria F

There are an estimated 4,000 people living in modern slavery in Qatar (GSI 2018). Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labour and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as unskilled laborers and domestic workers, often paying illegal and exorbitant fees to unscrupulous recruiters in the labour-sending countries, thereby increasing their vulnerability to debt bondage. Some workers subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, to include restricted movement, payment withholding, passport confiscation, exit permit retention, and threats of deportation or abuse. Individuals in Qatar sell visas to migrants and occasionally demand regular payments, enabling migrant workers to work illegally and without legal recourse against their respective sponsors, although reportedly this trend is on the decline. At the age of 24, 'Maria' travelled from the Philippines to work as a domestic worker. When she arrived at the house of her new employers, her mobile phone, ID and documents were immediately taken from her. Her clothes were also confiscated, and she had to wear a uniform at all times. She was told she would be paid only 800 riyals [$220] per month, and her employers said they would hold the money and pay her salary in full at the end of her contract. Maria's responsibilities included taking care of three children under the age of four, gardening and cleaning. She woke at 05:30 every day and would start working immediately.

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Jessica

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. Native American woman Jessica was thirteen when she was taken to Duluth, Minnesota and introduced to sex work by her older boyfriend.

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Jane Kohut

There are an estimated 5,000 people living in modern slavery in Slovenia (GSI 2018). Slovenia is a destination, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and forced begging. Women and children from Slovenia, Eastern European and Western Balkan countries, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, and many also transit to Western Europe where they may face sexual and labour exploitation. Ethnic Roma are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Slovenia. Jane Kohut was 25 when she was forced into prostitution.

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Hlaing

There is an estimated 1,220,000 people living in modern slavery in Indonesia. In Indonesia, women, men, and children are exploited in forced labour in fishing, fish processing, and construction; on plantations, including palm oil; and in mining and manufacturing. Indonesian fishermen working on foreign-flagged vessels reported pervasive abuse, forced labour, unpaid salaries, and, in some cases, allegations of murder. They worked on Taiwan, Thai, Malaysian, and Philippines-flagged fishing vessels operating in Indonesia and in the waters of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and India. Dozens of recruitment agencies in Burma, Indonesia, and Thailand hire fishermen, assign them fake identity and labour permit documents, and force them to fish long hours in waters for low or unpaid salaries while incurring severe physical abuse. The fishermen were prohibited from leaving their vessels and reporting these abuses by threats of exposing their fake identities to the authorities or by detaining them on land in makeshift prisons.  Since 2011, about 1,500 men have been repatriated back to Myanmar. According to figures from the Bangkok-based, anti-trafficking group Project Issara, which has examined 478 of those cases, on average, the fishermen have been given only $66 in compensation for each month they were enslaved. Some 88 percent of the migrant workers received less than half of the salary they were promised - or even worse, no pay at all. Originally from Myanmar, Hlaing* now lives in a camp set up for trafficked fishermen in Ambon, Indonesia. At that time, about 81 men at the camp were still waiting to collect their wages and return to their homeland.

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Grace

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. Nigerian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking within Nigeria and throughout Europe, including in Italy, Spain, Austria, and Russia. In 2015, a foreign government reported that with the exception of internal trafficking within the EU, Nigerian nationals are the most common trafficking victims in the EU. Before departure for work abroad, many Nigerian women participate in a traditional ceremony with a juju priest; some traffickers exploit this tradition and tell the women they must obey their traffickers or a curse will harm them, which prevents victims from seeking assistance or cooperating with law enforcement. While some sex trafficking victims arrive in Europe believing they will be working in prostitution, traffickers coerce them to stay in prostitution by changing the working conditions and increasing victims’ travel debts.  Grace* was promised work as a cleaner in the UK by a local businesswoman who trafficked her and forced her into prostitution.

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SS

There are an estimated 4,000 people living in modern slavery in Qatar (GSI 2018). Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labour and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as unskilled laborers and domestic workers, often paying illegal and exorbitant fees to unscrupulous recruiters in the labour-sending countries, thereby increasing their vulnerability to debt bondage. Some workers subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, to include restricted movement, payment withholding, passport confiscation, exit permit retention, and threats of deportation or abuse. Individuals in Qatar sell visas to migrants and occasionally demand regular payments, enabling migrant workers to work illegally and without legal recourse against their respective sponsors, although reportedly this trend is on the decline.27-year-old SS arrived in Qatar in 2011 as a domestic worker

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Davi

There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). All of Cambodia's 25 provinces are sources for human trafficking. Cambodian women and girls move from rural areas to cities and tourist destinations where they are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, beer gardens, massage parlours and salons. Cambodian men form the largest source of demand for children exploited in prostitution, although men from across the world travel to the country to engage in child sex tourism. Davi was 14 when she began working in a karaoke bar in Cambodia. The job soon was not what Davi was expecting and she was forced into sex work that was violent and dangerous.

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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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The Letter

The lesson is based around a true story about Nicu, a 9-year-old boy who has been trafficked to the UK. The central focus is a beautiful short film, based on the true narrative, in which Nicu reads an imaginary letter to his mother. Sadly, his descriptions of wealth are far removed from the reality of the violence and exploitation he is subjected to. This is not the ‘better life’ that his parents were promised he would have. He is unhappy, alone, and trapped. The lesson finishes with an engaging music video that focuses on the exploitation of a trafficked child forced to work in a factory.Audio for this lesson plan can be found at https://youtu.be/09QE3RsAge8

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My Future Is My Choice

My Future Is My Choice provides a lesson plan and resources for teaching on forced marriage, child marriage and honour-based violence and the possible long-term consequences of these crimes. We approach this subject sensitively and gently beginning with a powerful true narrative in which child marriage is fortunately prevented. The theme is introduced through artwork, and as the content progresses students learn that this crime is closely tied to control, violence and exploitation. There are two 55-minute lessons, depending on the level of your students and is aimed at older teens, young adults, adults, B1+ (upper intermediate to advanced)Materials include Laila’s story, student worksheet, autonomous learning resources, audio recording and transcript, Shahina’s story: transcript of video narrative, information about human trafficking and modern slavery, slides, Teacher’s Guide.Audio for this lesson plan can be found at https://youtu.be/JkGirIiPGfg  

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Kamharida

There are an estimated 1,386,000 people living in modern slavery in Nigeria (GSI 2018). Since 2009, Nigeria’s homegrown Islamist insurgent movement, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, which means “Western Education is Forbidden,” has waged a violent campaign against the Nigerian government in its bid to impose Islamic law. The attacks have increasingly targeted civilians, mainly in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. Borno State, the birthplace of Boko Haram, has suffered the highest number of attacks. A range of issues, including widespread poverty, corruption, security force abuse, and longstanding impunity for a range of crimes have created fertile ground in Nigeria for militant armed groups like Boko Haram.In some cases, women and children are abducted from predominantly Christian areas and forced to convert to Islam. As an attempt to escape, some would pretend to be Muslim. Where forced conversion did not lead to the release of abductees, it usually led to forced marriage to members of Boko Haram. 15-year-old Kamharida* described how a commander in the camp threatened to whip two abducted girls until they agreed to renounce Christianity.

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Mai Mai Tsawm

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. Mai Mai Tsawm trafficked at 21, gradually gained permission to go to the market, where she met some other women also trafficked from Myanmar. One woman she met tried to run and was caught by her husband. She managed to steal her in-laws’ banking password and withdraw 2,000 yuan ($318) without their knowledge but did not know how to get home. Mai Mai Tsawm had met another trafficked woman and they both escaped back to Myanmar together. However, two months later, financially desperate, she returned to China and was trafficked again.