Malleshwar Rao, 27, spent his early years as a child labourer in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Soon after finishing school at a local ashram, where the children of poor parents, sex workers and orphans studied, the 9-year-old would rush to a local construction site to join his parents who would be toiling in the harsh tropical sun to construct buildings as daily wage earners. The supervisor would assign Rao simpler tasks and his extra income would help his parents feed him and his younger brother.
Before Zimbabwe imposed lockdown measures last March as part of global efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Grace Mashingaidze* would attend workshops in Harare arranged by a nongovernmental organisation assisting trafficked women who had safely made it back home.
The numbers are so staggering that is hardly imaginable striking a positive tone about the situation of child trafficking in Nepal and yet some positive developments are occurring here in a country that soon could be set to graduate from the group of least developing countries.
Sandra* had a baby born of rape. The young Nigeria woman had plans of a better life in Europe, but when her 'recruiters' abandoned her in Libya she was sexually assaulted and abused.
Twelve-year-old Babloo’s (Name changed) parents, who worked as daily wage agricultural labourers in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, were finding it difficult to feed their family of six. They had recently lost their eldest son to sudden illness, when a distant relative convinced them to send Babloo with him to work in a city. He promised to pay Rs 5000 ($70) a month, a significant amount for the impoverished family.
In March 2014, Noemi N. took her own life inside a refuge camp in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where up until now there are no specialized shelters for victims of human trafficking.
I am about 200 feet down a rickety old mine shaft, in the Ashanti gold mining region of Ghana. It is stiflingly hot and darker than a moonless night. I can only feel the touch of sweaty bodies passing in the darkness and hear the reverberating sound of miners coughing and breaking rocks. The lack of oxygen and dust make it hard to breathe. I have no idea how deep this shaft goes – hundreds of feet? More? If there is a Hell this must be what it feels like.
Marcela Loaiza was just 21 years old when a man approached her at her workplace in Pereira City, Colombia with promises of fame and money. The well-dressed, mysterious Colombian said he could give her an opportunity for a better life. Loaiza was also working at a supermarket to support herself and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
All of Erizo's nightmares are the same. Since his return from the ocean - almost unrecognizable - every bad dream is identical. A wave punches his little boat and throws him into the deep sea where everything is so dark that he can't even see his own hands.