Stories of Freedom   
Stories of Freedom   


Helana

HELANA


Location: Greece

Gender: Female

Age: 20's

Trafficking Type: Sex Trafficking

Recruitment Method: Promise of Education

 

A woman in Greece was handed an A21 awareness flyer and saved it for five years. One day, she came across Helana*, a young girl who had just escaped from a trafficking situation. 

Helana had moved to Greece in the hopes of pursuing a good education—but instead, she was forced into sexual exploitation.

 

When the woman encountered Helena, she remembered the flyer and called our Greek National Hotline to report the case. The call operator connected Helana with law enforcement for immediate assistance, and then she was referred to our aftercare team.

For many people, their lives are intercepted by one hotline call, one flyer, one brochure, one presentation—one person deciding to take action. For Helana, it was one flyer that made the difference. Your actions could be the difference for more lives like hers.

 

We believe that when we all take action, more lives like Helana will experience the difference between slavery and freedom. Every step you take, every message you post, every flyer you hand out—it all holds the power to move freedom forward. The power to change the course of a life. The power to abolish slavery everywhere, forever.

 

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Oleg

OLEG


Location: Ukraine

Gender: Male

Age: Teens

Trafficking Type: Labor Trafficking

Recruitment Method: False Job Advertisement

 

Oleg* is a young boy from Ukraine. He was like many other kids his age—recently graduated, and ready to explore the world in front of him. When he and six of his friends were offered jobs abroad, they accepted with the hope of pursuing a promising opportunity. 
 

Once they arrived, their new employer told them to hand over their passports and documentation.

But Oleg and his friends remembered what an A21 presenter had taught them–to never give their passports away. Immediately, Oleg became suspicious of his employer and he and his friends ran away. They later found out it was a dangerous situation they had avoided.

Today, Oleg and his friends have legitimate jobs. They are free. And never experienced the exploitation or trauma of trafficking because he was equipped with the knowledge he needed to stay safe.

This is why your steps matter. It’s why your dollars matter. This is why showing up in your city matters. This is the power of awareness. Because with each action taken in the fight for freedom, more lives like Oleg’s will never experience trafficking in the first place.


The more awareness we raise, the more opportunities we create for prevention. The more dollars we raise, the more opportunities we create for education. The more action we take, the more we will see slavery abolished in our lifetime.

 

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Peter

PETER


Location: Bulgaria

Gender: Male

Age: 30's

Trafficking Type: Labor Trafficking

Recruitment Method: False Job Advertisement

 

Meet Peter*. A man from Bulgaria whose mother was very sick. Having lost a job in a small town, he was desperate to provide for his mother’s healthcare. 

In search of work, he reached out to a friend that connected him to a job opportunity in Moscow. The recruiter assured him the contract was legal—giving him hope for an income and his mother’s health.
 



When he arrived, Peter's phone and passport were taken away, and he was kept at a location closed off with a high fence. He and others were beaten by guards and threatened with violence if they disobeyed. Peter was forced to work in a cold, damp basement for 16-18 hours a day. After a few months passed, he got sick from the terrible conditions, experiencing severe kidney and back pains, headaches, and a fever—he was never paid for his work and endured severe physical and psychological trauma.

But today, Peter is free. He is no longer being forced against his will. And because of people like you who are taking a stand for freedom, more people like Peter will be given the chance to heal and live a free life.

 

We walk and fundraise because there are many in the world like Peter who are enslaved, beaten, and forced to work without pay. But when we all come together and use our voices, our steps, and our dollars—forced labor trafficking won’t go unnoticed. Our actions have the power to identify those enslaved. The power to restore survivors to a better future. The power to stand up for more lives like Peter’s.

 

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Mia

MIA


Location: South Africa

Gender: Woman

Age: 20's

Trafficking Type: Sex Trafficking

Recruitment Method: False Job Advertisement

 

Mia* was offered a job in South Africa that gave her hope for a better future. She accepted it and was excited to build a life that she had always wanted and pursue her dreams. But when she arrived, she realized it was a lie.


Mia was beaten repeatedly—forced to recruit other girls to work in a club and brothel. She was given a phone to recruit with, but instead, she contacted a family member.

Worried for Mia’s safety, her family called our National Human Trafficking Hotline in South Africa. Soon after, our team was able to make contact with her. She was being watched constantly—but one day she convinced her traffickers to let her leave the property to get food. Mia bravely ran and our call specialist guided her to a safe location using Google Maps. Our team coordinated with law enforcement to meet and ensure her safety. Today, Mia is free and has been reunited with her family.

When you decide to use what’s in your hands to fight for the freedom of others, initiatives like our hotlines are able to assist more lives like Mia’s. Walk. Fundraise. Do what you can with what you have. Because lives are on the line. Because it can be the difference between slavery and freedom.

 

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Sela

SELA


Location: Thailand

Gender: Female

Age: 7-years-old

Trafficking Type: Forced Begging

Recruitment Method: Family Member

 

Sela* is a seven-year-old girl from Cambodia. She grew up with relatives in a small village in Thailand near the Cambodian border. One day, her aunt sent her to Thailand to help earn money to support their family.
 

She found herself in a truck driving to Bangkok with five other children. She was left to earn money begging on the streets each night. Drunk men kicked her while she slept at night and she was beaten during the day. If she made less than $100 per night, her aunt wouldn’t give her food.

After some time, the Thai police followed the group of begging children, assisted them to safety and her aunt was arrested and taken to jail. After she was recovered, Sela waited for her paperwork to be finalized so she could return to Cambodia.

When it was time for her to go home, A21 was called. Our social worker arrived to find Sela sitting alone, crying. She didn’t have any family to be repatriated home to. The only family she had sold her and left her to be exploited.

Because of your support, our team was able to assist Sela and place her in foster care with a loving family. The family has a little girl the same age as her—and they've become best friends. Sela started school a week after, and we are thrilled to say that she is now living like a child should live—free, loved, and with hope for the future.

There are still many children like Sela who are yet to be free. This is why we walk and fundraise. Because the more actions we take, the more children like Sela will experience a childhood that is free from exploitation. Free from abuse. Free from slavery.

 

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Jane

JANE


Location: USA

Gender: Female

Age: Early 20's

Trafficking Type: Sex Trafficking

Recruitment Method: Loverboy

 

Meet Jane*. A young girl in the USA. One day, while waiting for the bus, she was approached by a good-looking man. They talked for a while and after a few weeks passed they started dating—but as time went on, he started to become more controlling.
 

One day, he asked Jane if she wanted to go out of town together. Thinking this was going to be a great opportunity to explore a big city, she agreed. But not long after, he started forcing her to sleep with men for money. Jane feared that if she said no, she would suffer severe abuse from him and was forced to sleep with men for months–traveling from city to city and had to turn all the money over to her boyfriend.

One day, after enduring severe abuse, Jane bravely escaped–she ran until she couldn’t run any further. A bystander noticed her, offered assistance, and she was connected with A21. Our team assisted her in returning home and provided services to her through our Freedom Center, helping her work towards her dreams and goals.

Why walk for freedom? Because lives like Jane’s are on the line. When each of us uses what’s in our hands and takes action locally, it continues to multiply into a global stand against our world’s largest modern-day crime. Will you walk for Jane?

 

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