Meet Maiya, a Nepalese woman who was brutally deprived of childhood and freedom at the age of 13.
When she was just a little girl, Maiya became a victim of human trafficking. She was taken from her home in Nepal and brought all the way to Kolkata, India.
Against her own will, Maiya was sold into sex slavery and had to work in one of the brothels in Sonagachi, Asia's largest red-light district.
'I couldn't say no to them. But I cried. I cried a lot.'
When Maiya tries to recollect the day she was sold, all she remembers is her captors giving her some clothes, sandals that were too big for her small feet, calling a taxi and sending her off to Sonagachi to start working immediately.
They told her Nepal is very, very far, and she wouldn't be able to run away and go home.
It took Maiya five years to regain her freedom, but she continued to work at the brothel because no one wanted to help her. Until this woman came along ...
This is Josephine Tan, founder of Touch Nature — a soap company that also helps former sex slaves integrate back into society.
According to Josephine, most of the women who are victims of sex trade were simply looking for a way to provide for their family. By promising them job opportunities, human traffickers trick them into leaving their homes and traveling to other countries only to find themselves being sold to the highest bidder.
Josephine says she wanted to find a way to help these women become more independent and give them a viable option to quit the exploitative jobs they were sold into. Her company, Touch Nature, employs these women as soap makers and gives them the opportunity to start a new life.
Maiya is now the supervisor at the soap-making company and leads a happy, confident, normal life.
Watch this video to learn more about her story:
According to data, about 20.9 million men, women and children worldwide are currently forced to work in sex slavery. And there's hardly any exception to the rule — human sex trafficking affects 161 countries, regardless of their socioeconomic status, history or political structure.