IMPACT: Slaves No Longer | Great Health Guide
IMPACT: Slaves No Longer

IMPACT: Slaves No Longer

‘Slaves No Longer’ by Chelsea Mitchell & Cassandra Cameron (A21) published in Great Health Guide (Oct 2015). Human trafficking is alive
and it’s depriving men, women and children of their lives. The A21 Campaign was founded to eradicate human trafficking and injustice in the 21st Century. Read the stories from three survivors of human trafficking in this article.
Read other Impact articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.

IMPACT: Slaves No Longer

written by Chelsea Mitchell & Cassandra Cameron (A21)

Over 600,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year; 80% are women. There is an unprecedented global demand that is seeing slavery, both sex slavery and forced labour, boom more than ever before. At A21 we have been successful in saving many individuals who are using their freedom to fight for the captive. 

The heart of The A21 Campaign encourages a united global effort to have trafficked girls released from a life full of fear, abuse and trauma and give them back their human birthright – freedom. The following real life stories are from three survivors and they give a voice and hope to the 27 million people who remain in slavery. Some details have been changed to protect their identities.

Story 1:  Freedom Found

I grew up in Africa and lost my parents in a war. My grandparents raised me and my siblings but now they are old and cannot work. So when an agent said I could work in the beauty industry in Australia and earn ten times the amount I earn at home, I immediately signed up. 

When I landed in Australia, the agent took me to my new house where I had to share a bedroom with six people, sleeping on the floor. I grew up sharing a small space with my family, so I didn’t think anything was wrong. They took my passport, so that the visa could be organised and I was introduced to my new boss.

On my first day, I worked 14 hours without any break for food. I could only go to the bathroom twice a day and had five minutes at 11am and 3pm to eat whatever food I brought from home. That first week I barely ate anything.  I had no money and the other women shared some of their food with me. After my first week I was paid $80.  Even though it was hard work (seven days from 7am to 9pm), I had never had so much money. 

Want your own FREE COPY of Great Health Guide

& delivered to your inbox each month?

Look to your right…


I had been in this job for 16 months when I started to get sick. My back was very painful and every time I ate I was in pain. One day I was too sick to go to work and my boss kicked me in the stomach because I complained. I couldn’t move for four days, I had so much pain. When I finally managed to go to work, I became very ill and collapsed. That’s when one of my customers helped me and I ended up in hospital. They told me that I was lucky to be alive. The police asked questions about the bruises on my body – and as a result they were able to rescue all the other women.

Now with the help of A21 I am learning English and studying office and life skills at The Freedom Hub. I want to work in an office and am hoping to get my first proper job in August and start saving money so that I can go home to my family.

Story 2: Hope Is a Journey

I come from a very big and very powerful gypsy community in Bulgaria but from a very poor family who couldn’t cope with me, so I grew up living between my family and an orphanage. I expected to get a job working out in the fields to help lift my family out of poverty. But the job I did get wasn’t out in the fields of Bulgaria, it was in more of a cage in Greece. My mum sold me at 16. So I didn’t get to finish growing up. Instead, I was forced to beg and I was forced to serve men. 

One day the police visited my brothel to check that it was legal – prostitutes were meant to have health checks. My brothel was raided and I was one of the lucky ones. I was underage, with no parents and no relatives in Greece so The A21 Campaign accepted me into their shelter. They started working with me to address my trauma problems. They gave me a home and started to save my life. 

I was working well with A21 and I even did a hairdressing course, but a year after I had been rescued, I started having the most frightening flashbacks. They were such graphic memories of everything that happened to me.  I could see it all. I could feel it as if I was still there. A21 arranged for me to have professional help from psychologists and psychiatrists in Greece and intensive counseling and group therapy sessions are helping me to overcome my past.

I wonder if my life will ever be normal. One of the most difficult things in the world for me now is to see any sort of hope for my future. But being surrounded by and talking with people who have overcome their traumatic past, is helping me to try and look towards my future too. I’m 18 now and thanks to A21 and the professionals who I have had access to, I’m slowly learning how to deal with the dark feelings attached to my thoughts and I have hope for the future.

Story 3: Future Bound

My parents are separated and as one of six children, my mother wasn’t coping with all of us, so I was sent to live with one of my cousins. My cousin told me, ‘I can get you a job in Greece’, so we left Romania and met up with a friend of hers. After that conversation, we both had a job. We walked with her, like three young friends along the streets of Greece – free.

I lost my freedom at 19.

She led us into this room full of girls. That’s when she told us that we had to have sex with men. We were taken to another room in a building on the other side of the city. That is where the men came – I saw 40 men a day for 2 years!

One night I was told to go to a nightclub for someone special who needed a girl. It’s all a blur now but the police raided the nightclub and they took me away. I was frightened, I didn’t want to tell them anything. I couldn’t trust them. I couldn’t trust anybody. They rang The A21 Campaign in Greece and told me about the shelter. Someone came and picked me up and I thought that I was heading back to the same room full of girls. 

I did end up in a roomful of girls who had been through what I had been through. They were as frightened as I was but had been set free, like me. The people at A21 taught me how to live again, with programs of trauma restoration, life skills and anger management. I have learnt to have fun because I am now free. It’s been two years since I was rescued. I live in an apartment with other girls, am getting a job and I want to help other people as A21 has helped me. I can’t explain how grateful I am, that there were people who taught me how to trust again.

We, the free, have the power to help stories like these become a reality for other captives. We, the free, can help turn a slave into a survivor. We, the free, can abolish modern day slavery and set men, women and children free! Together we can be free!

Australia isn’t immune to the problems of slavery. Please look at The Freedom Hub website to find out how you can become part of the solution. The Freedom Hub is an organisation that helps to rebuild the lives of survivors of human trafficking and modern day slavery in Australia. The organisation helps trafficked survivors to become work ready and builds their confidence and knowledge. They’re partnering in the global fight to end slavery!

To get your FREE MAG each month CLICK HERE.

Love this? Your friends probably will too. 

Why not share the love & forward this article.

Author Great Health Guide

More posts by Great Health Guide

Leave a Reply