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Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. According to the most recent Eurostat findings, European Union (EU) citizens account for 65 percent of identified trafficked victims within Europe. These individuals mostly originate from Eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. In Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Parliament has identified corruption and the judicial system as reform challenges towards accession talks within the EU.

Peter ran away from home after being abused by his father. After living on the streets for a year, his uncle arranged for him to leave the country. Peter was sold by his uncle and smuggled across Europe against his will.

As a child my father used to beat me, so I ran away from home. After a year living and sleeping on the streets, my family asked me to come home. Things were good for a while. And then suddenly I had to leave my country. A move that was arranged by my uncle. I was just 15, and the plan was to travel from Iran to Turkey, Greece, to France and then finally to the UK. The journey was planned with a smuggler and in exchange we would give him a fee. We arrived in Greece, at the house where the smugglers lived and it was very clear that they guy had not been paid. And my uncle had sold me to these men. For weeks I was forced to have sex with these men. Finally from Greece, I was sent to France and then from there I was put on a truck by another smuggler, bound for the UK.

And it was there that immigration found me. They saved my life.  

Courtesy of Hestia