Locating this house was the result of weeks of detective work. Our breakthrough was in meeting some children in a remote village who had been enslaved in this garment factory themselves, and had escaped; they could give us enough of a description of the street that after 2 days of searching we were pretty sure we had the right place.
“Pretty sure” isn’t a great starting point for a raid on a home, and the factory owner had gone to great lengths to conceal his crimes. When the Vietnamese anti-trafficking police searched the building, they finally found the girls locked into a closet, terrified into silence and stunned to learn that we had come to set them free.
As you can imagine, the girls were hugely relieved to finally have a ray of hope. The had been locked in to the building for 11 months, allowed out just once a week under strict supervision. During their time at the factory, they were never paid, never allowed to call home, and a typical working day was at least 14 hours long.
The girls are now on their way home; a journey of more than 2000km. Their reunion is sure to be a very happy one.