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Nov 10, 2014 4:50 PM

Modern Day Slavery - A victim speaks out


CONCORD - Human trafficking, also known as the modern day slave trade, is happening worldwide.

Right now, experts say there's at least 20 million victims worldwide in 73 countries.

And if you thought it might not be happening in New Hampshire, you might want to think again because it is.

"I was going to come to the US, go to school, be a lawyer, and I was excited," said Evelyn Chumbow, a human trafficking survivor.

But Chumbow's whole world was about to come crashing down at the young age of 9 when she'd wind up becoming a victim of this modern day slave trade.

"All that vision that I had that America being such a great and wonderful place was just completely different," said Chumbow.

Her captor bringing her from Cameroon in West Africa to the United States with the promise of an education, a future, and the American Dream.

Instead, she was forced to take care of a family and never once leave the home. Chumbow was essentially cut off from the outside world.

"I did not have a bed," she said. "I slept on a floor, on a cold floor because my trafficker said I'm too dirty, I'm black.....One of my punishment, I have to take off my clothes. She'd pour water on me and she'd beat me."

At a recent human trafficking seminar in Nashua, Chumbow along with law enforcement and experts told attendees about this skyrocketing problem in the hopes of educating them so that they would pass the message on to others.

"The traffickers are excellent reruiters," says Dr. Sandra Morgan, the Director of the Global Center for Women and Justice, Vanguard University of SC.

Morgan, who has worked with Chumbow, says whether it's for labor or for sex, it's all about the bottom line.

"It's big business not to have them pay labor or to pay them very little," said Dr. Morgan.

Chumbow never saw a dime but after eight years in captivity, she managed to escape and is now trying to free others.

"It's a problem and it need to be stopped," said Chumbow. "You never think it happens in New Hampshire but it does."

In our next report, we continue our investigation into the modern day slave trade, state laws that are changing to help victims, and an alleged case on the Seacoast.

We also investigate why it's so hard to prosecute these types of cases.

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