By Laura Sheahen
On a nondescript street in the capital of Romania, my colleague and I duck into a small, unmarked doorway and make our way up four narrow flights of stairs. In the stairwell, there are no posters or signs, none of the charity-related paraphernalia I usually notice when visiting organisations that fight human trafficking. We only see those when we reach the small attic office.
The organisation we’re visiting, ADPARE, has had to move offices a few times. The place is hidden because traffickers—criminals who buy and sell human beings—got too close.
We’re here to meet Adrian*, a 16-year-old boy who spent his childhood as a slave. Bought by a trafficker when he was a baby, Adrian grew up in Spain, forced to beg and steal.
He’d make hundreds of euros a day, and all of it went to his “false family,” as he calls it. At times he tried to […]