In the next hour, 6 young people living in the landlocked country of Laos will leave home.
There is no turning back. Better opportunities await. They’ve been promised bright jobs in big cities beyond their country’s borders.
Dozens more will join them from Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. They’re bags are packed, they are just a few steps away from a dream of a better life.
Unfortunately, that dream is often a nightmare.
An estimated 3 to 5 million people from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam leave home to work. In many cases, the work is not what was promised.
Upon arriving in a richer country, they’re forced to work jobs that are exploitative. They work long hours for little to no pay. They are forced to do tasks that are dangerous. And they are left to stay in places that are humiliating.
This week, as the world draws attention to International Migrants Day, we’re focusing on 7 trafficking survivors who worked in 7 different industries. They compel us to continue our anti-trafficking work.
1. TRAPPED IN DOMESTIC WORK
Laos: Phonevieng was promised big money when she became a maid for a rich Thai family. She worked long hours cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and caring for children. But she never got paid and couldn’t leave. Find out how she escaped
2. SOLD TO BECOME A BRIDE
Myanmar: Phyu’s wedding day was one of the worst days of her life. A broker tricked her to work in China, with promises of a good job. When she arrived, a Chinese man paid 3,200 US dollars for her. She was wed, beaten unconscious, tied and gagged. Her message to others
3. SMUGGLED INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY, JAILED WITH BABY, FORCED TO BEG
Cambodia: As a widow with a five-month old baby, Pannha trusted a relative when he offered her a job in Malaysia. But when she arrived, the money never came. Instead, she faced long hours and was eventually arrested, thrown in jail and nearly had her baby taken from her. Find out how it ends
4. FORCED INTO SEX WORK
Vietnam: Poverty and violence drove 16-year-old Tran to grab the first opportunity to leave home for work. But when she arrived in China, she was sold to a brothel and forced to be a sex worker. How is World Vision assisting her?
5. NO CHOICE: TEENAGER FORCED TO WORK IN FACTORY
China: Flower was sold to a Thai factory at the age of 13. She produced fishing tools. She escaped. Find out how she returned to China
6. GROUNDSKEEPER SWELTERS IN THE SUN
Myanmar: U Htun Shein is a rice farmer and a father of four who was in debt. He was forced to sell his land and left home to become a cleaner in Qatar. He was scorched. Find out what happened
7. LABOURING FOR PENNIES A DAY ON A SHIP
Cambodia: Fifteen hours of heavy lifting everyday earned Suon 14 US cents a day on Thailand’s transport ships. Find out the lie he told to leave