There are a lot of statistics about modern slavery, including laws and prevention programs on forced labor, prostitution and human trafficking. But its faces like these, that are behind all that data.
"You live with that fear and you have a mentality that says 'well that's the only thing I'm good for. That's why I work here and that's what I was trained to do.”
Claudia was only 12 years old, when her world was turned upside down. She started dating someone who promised her security, a family and love. She lived in Mexico City and decided to runaway with him. Everything was great for about three months, until her so called boyfriend, became her pimp. He had an entire team that would lure girls into believing they would work in local markets, but eventually he would force them into prostitution.
"He put a gun to my head and told me that if I didn't follow his orders, he was going to first kill my mother and then my brothers right in front of me. Days turned into months and eventually years and this was my reality.”
Now 22, Claudia is sharing her story, hoping it helps other victims overcome their nightmare. She even shared it with Pope Francis, and other religious leaders who agreed to fight human slavery, together.
She like to emphasize that despite the darkness, she managed to escape those four years of misery.
"It was actually a client who helped me escape. He would tell me you have value, you are worth more. You are not an object.”
Now, Claudia has a stable life and is married with two children. The scars will forever be there, but she says she won't allow that chapter to define the rest of her life.