our work

Modern Slavery

We help protect vulnerable people from trafficking and exploitation.

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Human trafficking is an organised criminal activity that deceives and coerces people into modern slavery.

Tearfund has a deep compassion for the oppressed and a yearning to see justice done on behalf of those trapped in modern-day slavery. We believe the exploitation of poor and vulnerable people is a gross injustice that must be confronted. The vast majority of victims trafficked into sexual exploitation are vulnerable women and girls robbed of their freedom and dignity. 

In the Asia-Pacific region, workers also face the horrors of forced labour, child labour and exploitation, particularly in the garment industry. 

Chanthavy's Story

Warning: Story content may disturb readers. Image changed to protect identity.

When Chanthavy was seven days old, her mother took her across the border to Cambodia and left her with her grandmother. Her mother returned three years later and tried to “sell” her daughter to a man. After three days, her grandmother found her and had her mother arrested. The bond Chanthavy and her grandmother have is strong and achingly beautiful. When Chanthavy was 15, one of her cousins told her about a job outside the city where she’d be paid a good salary and given annual leave to see her grandmother. As soon as she arrived at the new job, her cousin left. She was forced to work in this new family’s house and at their market stall. She was never paid for her work.

One day her boss raped her. This happened many times. He was an evil man and did this to other girls. When she became pregnant with his child, he accused her of theft and gossiping and horribly beat her. When the boss’s wife found out about the pregnancy, she sedated Chanthavy and had her raped by three men to hide the father’s identity.

By the time Chanthavy was freed, she’d tried to escape many times and survived a murder attempt on both her and her son. She’d given up all hope of a life worth living, but she found a phone and rang our partner’s hotline.

Chanthavy was brought to a safe house where she was given a place to stay, education, counselling and care for her wellbeing and future. She loves her son and wants to give him all the chances she never had. "We are pursuing the prosecution of her former boss."

Chanthavy’s hope is to live with her precious grandmother again, but for now, she is safe and will remain in care until she is strong enough to begin rebuilding her life.

Story told by our local partner

50 Million

People trapped in modern slavery

This appallingly high number includes people trapped in forced labour (27.6M), commercial sexual exploitation (6.3M) and forced marriages (22M).

6.3 Million

People in forced commercial sexual exploitation

More than the population of New Zealand is sexually exploited for the profit of sex traffickers. Women and children make up most of this number.

27.6 million

People in forced labour exploitation

With 15.1 million, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of people in forced labour.

How we are tackling Modern Slavery

Though our experienced partners on the ground, we take a comprehensive approach to human trafficking by using the 5 P's:

  • Prevention
  • Prosecution
  • Protection
  • Policy
  • Partnership

Supported by our donors, our partners:

  • Help protect people vulnerable from trafficking and worker exploitation by running empowerment and education programmes. 
  • Assist police investigations into the criminal networks behind trafficking and slavery. 
  • Work with local law enforcement to prosecute traffickers, preventing more people from becoming enslaved. 
  • Give survivors a safe place to heal, recover and restore their dignity through rehabilitation and supported reintegration. 

As we advocate for change in the fashion and shoe industries we help educate consumers on how to the most ethical purchases choices. We provide data showing which companies are making the most effort to reduce worker exploitation in their supply chains and to limit their environmental impact.

Donate today and help the most vulnerable people on the planet.

Make a monthly donation of $50 or more to combat modern slavery.

Your donation will:

  • Prevent vulnerable people from being trafficked and exploited
  • Remove people from exploitative situations
  • Prosecute traffickers
  • Provide legal support and aftercare for trafficked people and exploited workers
  • Rehabilitate survivors and reintegrate them back into their chosen communities

When you donate, your gift will support our current appeal. If you choose to make a monthly donation, thank you. Your gift will become a part of World of Difference, which will enable us to respond to any need across all of our causes in the future.

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