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Benita Furaha

There are an estimated 1,045,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (GSI 2018). Worsening political and economic conditions throughout the country have exacerbated already high levels of instability, insecurity, and political tension and rendered populations more vulnerable to trafficking. Some men, women, and children working in artisanal mines in eastern DRC are subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage, by mining bosses, other miners, family members, government officials, and armed groups. Some children are subjected to forced labor in the illegal mining of diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, tungsten ore, tantalum ore, and tin, as well as the smuggling of minerals. Benita’s parents died when she was 13 years old. Her older brother threatened to starve her or to send her out of the house if she couldn’t contribute to household expenses. Benita went to work in the mines where she was subjected to long hours for little pay and subjected to sexual violence. In 2012 Benita met community workers from Free the Slaves who helped her leave her situation.  She has now mastered dress making skills and become a good seamstress that enables her to make an honest living



Mica is a mineral that provides the sparkling effect in cosmetics and car bodypaint. The mica mining area of Jharkhand/Bihar in India comprises an estimated 300 rural villages, and child labour occurs in these remote villages, including collecting/mining mica and cobbing (hammering minerals other than mica from the mined rocks. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 children are currently working in the mica mines in India, with 90% of these working under illegal conditions of modern slavery. Manon was trafficked from Nepal to India at the age of 6 years old to work in the Mica mine. Forced to work in dangerous conditions, and to watch his best friend die, Manon was finally rescued two and a half years later.

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Peruvian men, women, and children are exploited in forced labor in the country, principally in illegal and legal gold mining and related services, logging, agriculture, brick-making, unregistered factories, organized street begging, and domestic service. Peruvians working in artisanal gold mines and nearby makeshift camps that provide services to miners are subjected to forced labor, including through deceptive recruitment, debt bondage, restricted freedom of movement, withholding of or non-payment of wages, and threats and use of physical violence. Mario was 16 years old when he went to work in a mine. Working long hours with no breaks, Mario's employer offered to keep his money safe, giving him an allowance from it to buy shoes and clothes. People became ill and were dying in the mines but weren't allowed days off. When Mario asked his employer for his money back he refused, beat Mario up and threatened to kill him, leaving him in the middle of the jungle.