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Blogs and Opinion Risks after exploitation for women and girls

Risks after exploitation for women and girls

Women make up nearly 27 million of all those living in modern slavery. That includes 14.9 million girls in forced marriages and 11.8 million women trapped in forced labour.

Women and children are disproportionately represented among those caught in modern slavery. Even after they are free from exploitation, women can face gender-specific challenges such as pregnancies resulting from exploitation, childcare costs, gender-based violence, FGM and societal stigma.

It is common for women and girls to experience some form of sexual violence while in exploitation, with 91% of victims of sexual exploitation being women. The 2022 Trafficking In Persons report found that women and girls are three times more likely than men to suffer from extreme violence at the hands of traffickers.

Recovery from a trafficking experience is not easy, and there are many barriers that can make it harder for a survivor to re-enter society. These barriers can include difficulty accessing safe housing, overcoming trauma and mental health struggles, limited work opportunities, and having to navigate stigma and exclusion.

For International Women’s Day 2024, we wanted to further understand the risks and barriers that women and girls face after exploitation, so we interviewed our colleagues on the ground in Ethiopia, Uganda, the United States and the United Kingdom about the specific barriers to re-entering society that they have found when working with survivors of modern slavery.

Read these individual stories to learn more about our work in each country:

Girls playing at one of Hope for Justice’s Lighthouse aftercare shelters in Uganda

young girl