A Harrowing Story of Modern Slavery

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Forced LaborHuman TraffickingSurvivor Stories

A reporter for ITV News listens as a trafficking victim recounts her terrifying story.

“There is no smile quite like it. A diminutive, slight young Vietnamese woman walks through a London park – new trainers, a spring in her step. It’s no wonder she’s happy. When she first arrived in the capital, Thanh had no idea where she was. She was kept in a basement with seven others by her gangmaster – forced into sex work, allowed out only to pack vegetables under a watchful eye: otherwise kept under lock and key.  Now after an astonishing 30 years – she is free.”

The reporter explains: Of all the many harrowing stories I’ve heard from trafficking victims – I have never heard one like Thanh’s.

Thanh was first trafficked when she was just five-years-old.  She was with her parents when they were taken out of Vietnam into China.  They were promised a better life, a common lure of traffickers.

But instead, they got a lifetime of exploitation.  By the time Thanh was 15, she was used for forced labor and sex work.  She was made to sleep with so many men, she now has permanent spine damage.

“She was trafficked to Russia to pick fruit, across a continent to France for sex work in a forest encampment: separated from her 11-year-old son and thrown into a refrigerated lorry to be smuggled to England.”

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