Tamas was 23 years old, broke, and unemployed in small-town Hungary when his neighbour suggested that her uncle might have work for him in Canada. Tamas was excited at the idea of work, travel, and a chance to support his parents. He spoke on the phone to his supposed employer, Franz Demeter, who told Tamas that he would have a room at his house and would earn up to $4000 dollars a month working in construction. When Tamas got to Hamilton, Ontario, he became one of 19 men that Demeter and his family had trafficked into Canada. He was given a mattress in a dingy basement and threatened with execution if he ran away. His family in Hungary were also threatened.
When Mira was born, her parents were bonded labourers who worked the fields for a landowner in the Sindh province of Pakistan. As a child, she picked chillies, wheat, and onions in the master’s fields, as her family tried to work off the debt her parents had incurred — a debt which, no matter how hard they worked, seemed to only grow. She remembered being baking hot, underfed, and barely clothed. When she grew up, she joined the women in domestic work and gathering hay. They were never allowed out of the compound, even to the market or religious festivals. Many of her fellow labourers were kept chained at the ankles. Finally, her family was rescued by human rights activist Shakeel Pathan and the police. Now, her children are at least free and able to attend school. Mira had no schooling as a child, and she remains illiterate.