Originally posted by Grace Kwinjeh on The WIP on October 3, 2014—
“A Thai woman, aged 28, met a handsome Belgian man and fell in love. He assisted her in getting a visa to leave Thailand and marry him in Belgium.
The mother of two, who had worked as a commercial sex worker for the greater part of her adult life, must have thought that she was free at last. Life as a happily married woman had begun. She could now enjoy some peace and relief; free from life’s toils and hardships endured back home in Thailand.
But, alas, her husband was no ordinary groom. He had not planned to give her a diamond ring, nor had he planned a romantic honeymoon. Instead, as soon as he could get the paperwork done, he opened a parlour for her to ‘work’ in. She worked long hours and was at times abused. Like many others in her position she became trapped in a vicious cycle of drug addiction.
Scores of other women share a similar story; they are brought to Belgium in promise of a better life and when they get here it is a different story altogether. They soon discover they have been lured into some form of slavery.
According to human rights activist Emma Gooding, human trafficking “is very grey [and] does not enter a neat box of what happens. [It involves] more subtle forms of control and deception.” Gooding is the Project Director for OASIS, an NGO that runs a project aimed at raising awareness around human trafficking and the rehabilitation of survivors. Belgium is reported to be a source, destination, and transit country for individuals who are victims of human trafficking, particularly for forced labor and prostitution.”
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