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Nadia Murad

ISIS has singled out the Yazidi 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. Nadia was kidnapped by ISIS. when she was twenty-one years old. She was loaded on to a bus with other young women. Upon arrival in Mosul, the women were beaten, sold and forced to convert to Islam. She details how she feels about the complicity of ISIS women in the exploitation of Yazidis. After being passed from captor to captor, raped on a daily basis, and deprived of basic human comforts like food and companionship, Nadia managed to escape. She jumped over a wall, walked through the night, and knocked on the door of strangers who risked their lives hiding her until it was safe to get her to a refugee camp. From there, Nadia went to Germany.

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Lena

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. Lena* left home at the age of fourteen and was trafficked in Oklahoma by a man for commercial sexual exploitation.

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Jana

There are an estimated 5,000 people living in modern slavery in Slovenia (GSI 2018). Traffickers exploit foreign workers and undocumented migrants vulnerable to labour trafficking in forced begging, domestic servitude, and in construction, transportation, and hospitality. Women and children from Slovenia, Eastern European, Western Balkan, Southeast Asian, and Latin American countries to sex trafficking within Slovenia, and many also transit to Western Europe, primarily Italy and Germany, where they are at risk of sexual and labour exploitation. Ethnic Roma are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Slovenia. Jana was trafficked at the age of 13 in Slovenia by a friend who had arranged a job interview for her. During the interview she was kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution.

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Medina

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Women and children are also subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in prostitution and pornography. Medina*, a 15-year-old girl from Kazakhstan was trafficked after being sold by her parents. The man who bought her forged her birth certificate and took her to Russia where she was forced to do domestic work and was subjected to sexual exploitation.

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Albert

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Albert*, A 17-year-old man from Novosibirsk in Russia was kidnapped and coerced into construction work. For six months he worked long hours under constant supervision and the threat of violence.

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Edel

There are an estimated 794,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Russia (GSI 2018). Forced labour remains the predominant form of human trafficking in the country. Labour trafficking has been reported in the construction, manufacturing, logging, textile, and maritime industries, as well as in sawmills, agriculture, sheep farms, grocery and retail shops, restaurants, waste sorting, street sweeping, domestic service, and forced begging. Many migrant workers experience exploitative labour conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions.   Edel, a 47-year-old man from Uzbekistan was kidnapped on the way to Russia. His passport was taken, and he was forced to work making mats from cane and sleep in a cattle shed.

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Aisuluu

There are an estimated 24,000 people living in modern slavery in Kyrgyzstan (GSI 2018). The country remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Women in the country are often subject to kidnapping and forced marriage, known as Ala kachuu. The act was outlawed in the country in 2013 when authorities recognised it could lead to marital rape, domestic violence and psychological trauma. However, in some communities the practice remains common. Aisuluu experienced Ala kachuu (bride kidnapping) when she was seventeen years old. She was held in a house by her kidnappers for two months before she was forcibly married and experience violence for a further two years. Aisuluu tells of the difficulties of surviving bride kidnapping and being treated as a second-class citizen.

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Dimitra

There are an estimated 89,000 people living in modern slavery in Greece (GSI 2018). Traffickers exploit people from Greece and aboard in the country. Women and children from Eastern and Southern Europe, South and Central Asia, China, Georgia, Iraq, Nigeria, and Russia are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, on the street, in massage salons and in hotels. While people subjected to forced labour are primarily children and men from Africa, Eastern Europe and South Asia. Debt bondage is reported to occur in the agricultural industry in Greece. And the marginalised Romani children are forced to sell goods on the street, beg, and commit theft. Refugee and migrant travellers are at an increased risk of human trafficking and modern slavery.  Dimitria was kidnapped as a child and her trafficker attempted to sell her organs. She was discovered by police after guests at the hotel where she was being kept made a noise complaint. 

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Grizelda

There are an estimated 155,000 people living in modern slavery in South Africa (GSI 2018). South Africa remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. South African children were recruited from poor, rural areas to urban centres, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Bloemfontein, where girls were subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude and boys are forced to work in street vending, food service, begging, criminal activities, and agriculture. Local criminal rings organized child sex trafficking, Russian and Bulgarian crime syndicates facilitated trafficking within the Cape Town commercial sex industry, and Thai and Chinese nationals often organized the sex trafficking of Asian men and women. Nigerian syndicates dominated the commercial sex industry in several provinces. To a lesser extent, syndicates recruited South African women to Europe and Asia, where some are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude, or drug smuggling.  Grizelda Grootboom was 18 years old when a trip to Johannesburg with a friend ended in her being trafficked in Yeoville. She was tied up in a room for two weeks and forced to work as a prostitute. Grizelda now works for Embrace Dignity, advocating to prevent violence against women, commercial and sexual exploitation and human trafficking.   

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Katia

There are an estimated 509,000 people living in modern slavery in Turkey (GSI 2018). As a source, transit and destination location for immigration, human trafficking is prevalent in the country. Trafficking victims in Turkey are primarily from Central and South Asia, Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Morocco, and Syria. Women are mainly trafficked to Turkey as sex workers. Katia was trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation from Ukraine to Turkey. She was drugged and beaten and forced to sleep with men against her will on a daily basis.

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Brinda

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.  Brinda* was kidnapped and sold to a man who forced her into prostitution in Delhi. She was beaten and subjected to sexual exploitation daily.

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Zinab

ISIS has singled out the Yazidi 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. Zinab and her children were kidnapped by ISIS from her village. She was taken to Syria and sold four times, subjected to sexual violence and forced religious conversion. Zinab used a smuggling network to escape Syria after 20 months.

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Francis Bok (Narrative 2)

There are an estimated 465,000 people living in modern slavery in Sudan (GSI 2018). Traffickers exploit foreign and domestic victims in the country. Migrant children from West and Central Africa are exploited in forced labour for begging, public transportation, large markets and sex trafficking. Business owners, informal mining operators, community members and farmers exploit children working in brick making factories, goldmining, collective medical waste, street vending and agriculture. Children are exposed to threats, physical and sexual abuse, as well as hazardous working conditions and limited access to education or health services. At the age of four Francis Bok was kidnapped from a local market in South Sudan and forced into domestic slavery in northern Sudan. For 10 years he was forced to work long hours with no rest, treated like an animal by the family he worked for. Bok tried to escape twice before was finally being successful, reaching a refugee camp in Egypt. After a while in the camp he was able to get refugee status in the United States. In 2011 Francis Bok returned to South Sudan and works as a public relations manager at a construction company.

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Trishna

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.  In 2010, Trishna was 14 years old when she met a boy who lived in a village close to hers. He kidnapped her, took her to different city and sold her to traffickers who said she would have to dance to earn back the money they had paid. While Trishna was finally rescued after around 6 months, her experience with the police was not a pleasant one. They sexual abused her, threatening to tell people that she had chosen this life. Upon returning home, people in Trishna’s village did not treat her the same and her mental health has suffered as a result. In 2015, Trishna was finally able to get help through a psychiatrist and an NGO who reached out to assist her.

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Chong Kim

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. Chong Kim’s family moved to the United States from South Korea when she was a toddler. At the age of 19 Kim met a man on a night out in Dallas, Texas whom she began dating. After a few weeks of dating, this man abducted Chong Kim and destroyed her naturalization documents. She was forced into prostitution, sent out with other women to a variety of places across the country. After a year and a half Kim was able to escape while working a casino in Las Vegas, befriending people on the maintenance staff who helped her escape.

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Natasha Herzig

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. Natasha was at the mall when a woman offered her a job in the modelling industry. She went to an office building to fill out an application and met the owner of the company. However rather than being given a job, she was kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Natasha was subjected to physical and sexual abuse daily. Natasha tells of the psychological effects of her trafficking and how she is now working towards preventing what happened to her happening ton anyone else.

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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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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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Dee

There are an estimated 9000 people living in modern slavery in Lesotho (GSI 2018). Traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in the country, as well as trafficking people from Lesotho abroad. Basotho children are trafficked into domestic servitude and animal herding, especially orphans who migrate to urban areas, in sex trafficking. Basotho women and girls wanting to migrate to South Africa are also often detained by traffickers in prison-like conditions and forced into sexual exploitation. Dee came into the care of Beautiful Dream Society after she was falsely promised a job. Instead she was kidnapped, held against her will and raped repeatedly before being left for dead. With the help of a woman who gave her money, Dee was able to go to the police and have her abuser arrested.

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Vian

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. Vian was 15 years old when kidnapped by ISIS in August 2014 and held for 4 months in Raqqa, Syria. Vian tells of the atrocities she witnessed against girls as young as 7 by ISIS men. One afternoon Vian ran away and was able to make it to Turkey where her Uncle picked her up and brought her home to her family.