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“My boss would hit me, curse at me, and say that if I did not work for him he would call the police and have them lock me up for a crime I did not commit. I had no choice. I was stuck.”

Every year, anywhere between 600,000 to 800,000 Kyrgyzstanis leave the country to find work in Russia. This is a lot of people for a country of about 6 million. The money they send home accounts for about 35 percent of the country’s GDP, which is one of the highest rates in the world.

So for Sirojiddin, moving to Russia for work was nothing unusual. He knew many people who had made that same decision. He accepted the offer and traveled to Moscow.

What he found in Moscow was not at all what he expected. He was placed in a bakery shop where he worked almost non-stop, day and night. He never saw a penny from his hard work.

You can read his remarkable story of survival and resilience here