Traumatized and vulnerable, slavery survivors live with mental health issues

Oped in CNN International.

(CNN) Try and imagine, if you can, an existence where every important decision in your life is controlled by someone else.

An existence where the only concern of the person exploiting you is to make as much profit as possible from your labor or your body. An existence where you and your children are forced to work seven days a week in a stone quarry or a brick kiln in India, and threatened with violence if you try to leave.

Or where you are raped many times a night in a brothel in Kathmandu, and forced to smile and pretend to your “clients” that you are voluntarily offering up your underage body for their enjoyment. Or where, as a farmer from inland Myanmar, the first time you see the ocean is when you are forced onto a Thai fishing boat, to go to sea for 18 months on end, compelled to work 20-hour days, all the while being beaten for not working hard enough.

That’s the kind of exploitation that over 30 million victims of modern slavery around the world experience on a daily basis. Now try and imagine your psychological state if and when you are fortunate enough to escape this life of servitude.

Read full article here.

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