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Loreta

There are an estimated 17,000 people living in modern slavery in Lithuania and 145,000 in Italy (GSI 2018). Lithuanian people are trafficked within the country and abroad. Men and boys are exploited in forced criminal activity such as shoplifting, and women and girls in commercial sex. 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. Loreta experienced physical abuse as a child in a children’s home. She turned to drugs at thirteen years old. The only visitor she had at the home was a man who claimed to be her Godfather. He promised she could live with him when she turned fifteen and could legally leave the home. But he had previously raped her and when she was forced to live with him, her drug abuse increase. Shortly after, Loreta was trafficked into prostitution by a woman claiming to be her sister. When she was seventeen, she was told that pimp wanted to sell her abroad. She was taken to Italy. She was eventually able to escape after seeking help from a Lithuanian man who called the police.  

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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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S.

There are an estimated 20,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Albania (GSI 2018). An estimated 10% of girls in Albania are married before their eighteenth birthday, with child marriage most common among the Roma ethnic group and in poor, isolated and rural areas. Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and while country has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the UN Sustainable development goals, no progress has been reported thus far. Human traffickers also exploit domestic and foreign victims in Albania, and traffickers exploit victims from Albania abroad. Traffickers exploit Albanian women and children in sex trafficking and forced labor within the country, especially during tourist season. Traffickers use false promises such as marriage or employment offers to force victims into sex trafficking. Traffickers exploit Albanian victims in sex trafficking in countries across Europe, particularly Kosovo, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK. Albanian migrants who seek employment in Western Europe face forced labor and forced criminality, particularly in the UK. S was born in Albania to a poor family who forced her to marry someone living in Greece at the age of 14. S moved to Greece with her husband illegally, subjected to emotional and physical abuse daily. After a year, S escaped her marriage and was deported back to Albania, however after giving birth to her daughter, Sara, S’s father forced her into another marriage with a 60-year-old man. S escaped this second forced marriage with the help of her father’s friend she had known since she was ten years old. This man, however, attempted to traffik S into prostitution in Italy. She was caught by police on a boat and referred to a safe place back in Albania.

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C.

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. C was raped by her father when she was thirteen years old. She left her abusive home life to live with her sister, where she met a boy and fell in love. When she tried to tell her father he did not accept it and she travelled to Italy illegally with another boy, however they were stopped by the police and she was taken to a centre run by nuns. After a while she returned to Albania where she again met the boy she had fallen in love with, however her father killed him, and she was arrested. After leaving prison C was smuggled to Italy where she was forced into prostitution until she was stopped by the police and deported back to Albania.

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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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L.

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. L fell in love with an older man who convinced her to runaway to Italy with him. After a while of staying at his friend’s house, L’s boyfriend coerced her into prostitution. She escaped one day with the help of an Albanian client who took her back home.

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F.

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. F had ambitions of going to university to study law. One day she was coming home from work when a car stopped in front of her. Two men jumped out and kidnapped her. She was kept for a week by the sea, sexually and physically abused, before being taken to Italy by speedboat. Upon arrival, F was forced into prostitution. She tried to escape once, being deported back to Albania by Italian police, however her trafficker found her and re-trafficked her back to Italy. F was finally able to escape after falling in love with one of her clients who helped her.

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V.P.

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. V.P. travelled to Greece for work when she was 16 years old where she was introduced to a man who promised to marry her. Instead he forced her into prostitution, forcing her to work up to 12hrs and beating her daily. After 2 years V.P. was able to escape and came back to Albania. However, unable to find work she left Albania for Italy where she was exploited as a prostitute for a second time.

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I

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. At the age of 16, I’s parents arranged for her to marry a man twice her age, however this man was ill and was hospitalised some months later. After a while, it was arranged for I to marry another man named G., who convinced her they would have a better life in Italy. Upon arrival in Italy, I. was told she would have to work to pay for rent and forced into prostitution. I. was able to escape when her mother had denunciated their marriage and G was forced to return her to Albania and her family.

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Sophie B

There are an estimated 145,000 people living in modern slavery in Italy (GSI 2018). Italy is a destination, transit and source country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims originate most often from Nigeria and other African countries, China, and Eastern Europe, and include ethnic Roma. Nigerians represented 36 percent of the victims who received residency permits in 2017, primarily women and girls subjected to sex trafficking through debt bondage and many coerced under threat of voodoo rituals. Men are victims of forced labour in agriculture in southern Italy and in construction, house cleaning, hotels, and restaurants in the north. Chinese victims work in textile factories in Milan, Prato, Rome, and Naples. Nigerian gangs have expanded and reportedly receive protection from Italian crime networks. Chinese criminal elements also forced victims to work in apartments and in massage parlours. Sophie was just 24 when she travelled from Leeds to Italy to be with the man she believed was her best friend and boyfriend.  She thought she was just going on a week’s holiday. Instead, she vanished for six months. Her boyfriend had tricked her, forcing her to begin working as a prostitute to earn money for him. He bullied her, beat her, and pressured her to have sex with strangers. Sophie, an alias, became what she never imagined she would. After six months, Sophie managed to escape and she now runs a survivor support programme for women in England who have been identified as having been trafficked. 

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Angela A

There are an estimated 136,000 people living on conditions of modern slavery un the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index 2018). According to the 2017 annual figures provided by the National Crime Agency, 5, 145 potential victims of modern slavery were referred through the National Referral Mechanism in 2017, of whom 2,454 were female, 2688 were male and 3 were transgender, with 41% of all referrals being children at the time of exploitation. 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. This data however does not consider the unknown numbers of victims that are not reported.   Angela was living in Albania when she met a man who promised her a new life in Italy. However, instead of the new life she expected, Angela was taken to a house, raped and forced to work as a prostitute. After 5 years she was sold and trafficked to the UK. Angela was able to escape but lived on the streets in Brixton until she was helped by a woman who took her to a police station. Angela was able to get the help she needed at a safe house run by Hestia.

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Martina

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. Martina was living in Croatia when she was offered work in a restaurant abroad in Italy. However, upon arrival she was locked in a Rome apartment for two months. Instead of working in a restaurant, she was beaten and raped daily until she was “broken” and had become a sexual slave. The man who bought her then took her out to the street where she was forced to provide sexual services.

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Sophie Hayes

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. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.  Sophie Hayes was deceived by a man who said he loved her. She was forced to work on the streets of Italy, was beaten up, force-fed and turned into a ‘product’. Sophie is a survivor determined to turn her horrendous experiences into positive ones and doing everything in her power to make a difference and empower survivors of trafficking to build hope-filled futures. 

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Princess

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. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread form of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.    Princess, 43, was trafficked from Nigeria into prostitution in Italy 

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Nicoleta B

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. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.    Nicoleta, 34, Romanian survivor of forced labour and sexual slavery in Sicily. 

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Jasmine

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. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls who often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks.  Jasmine was sold to a man when she was 5 years old. At the age of 9 she was taken to Italy and forced to be a prostitute. At 15 years old she was brought to the UK where her sexual exploitation continued. Jasmine was finally able to escape when she came back after being with a client to an empty house. It was at this time that she decided to run away. 

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Loreta

Observers estimate 40 percent of identified Lithuanian trafficking victims are women and girls subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Lithuanian women are also subjected to sex trafficking in Western Europe and Scandinavia. Having grown up in a state-run children’s home, Loreta was prostituted from age 15 to age 19 by a man who claimed to be her Godfather. After escaping her abusers, she lived at the Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center in Lithuania for a year, where she was provided with holistic survivor-oriented services to help her regain control of her life.

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Valdete

Born in Albania, Valdete was trafficked into Greece, where Albanian victims are also trafficked in from Nigeria, and then into Italy. Many women are trafficked into richer Western European countries from the poorer Eastern countries, including Albania. The fall of communism in 1991 led to a rise in organized crime in Albania: in 2001 it was estimated 100,000 Albanian women and girls had been trafficked to Western European and other Balkan countries in the preceding ten years. More than 65 percent of Albanian sex-trafficking victims are minors at the time they are trafficked, and at least 50 percent of victims leave home under the false impression that they will be married or engaged to an Albanian or foreigner and live abroad. Another ten percent are kidnapped or forced into prostitution. The women and girls receive little or no pay for their work, and are commonly tortured if they do not comply.

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Odeta

Born in Albania, Odeta was trafficked into Italy, where trafficking victims also arrive from Nigeria, Romania, Bulgaria, China, and South America. One NGO estimates that 48 percent of the prostitutes in Italy are from Eastern Europe. Many women are trafficked into richer Western European countries from the poorer Eastern countries, including Albania. The fall of communism in 1991 led to a rise in organized crime in Albania: in 2001 it was estimated 100,000 Albanian women and girls had been trafficked to Western European and other Balkan countries in the preceding ten years. More than 65 percent of Albanian sex-trafficking victims are minors at the time they are trafficked, and at least 50 percent of victims leave home under the false impression that they will be married or engaged to an Albanian or foreigner and live abroad. Another ten percent are kidnapped or forced into prostitution. The women and girls receive little or no pay for their work, and are commonly tortured if they do not comply.