Deeply disappointed by how she was treated by the authorities when she escaped, Woworuntu has since devoted her life to helping other victims of modern slavery.

On 1 November, L’Oréal Paris announced Woworuntu as one of its 2017 Women of Worth Honorees, alongside 10 others across the US who have committed their lives to bettering their communities and fostering positive change. The accolade recognizes Woworuntu’s work since she fled her captors. Her activism has seen her testify before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Ending Slavery, serve on the US Advisory Council on human trafficking, and help to bring about changes in the law to protect others from similar ordeals. In 2014, she founded Mentari: a charity which helps victims of modern slavery find jobs.

I struggled to leave because there wasn’t enough help and resource to move forward…so I learned that I need to help people,” she says humbly.

Woworuntu stresses that while she is grateful for the recognition, awards are meaningless to her, her voice trembling with force as she speaks.

I don’t like awards,” she says. “Honestly, because I don’t do this for publicity. I get emotional when I talk about this.

Prevention is the best way to reduce the number of victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, because we can’t take people back to their lives before.” Starting from education in schools, the public needs to be made aware of what modern slavery is, she says. Businesses also have a role in ensuring their supply chains are free from forced labor and exploitation. Officials must also take steps to ensure that rules are strictly enforced – something that the UK police force was recently criticised for after it was revealed that victims were sent back to their captors.

This award isn’t for me but for the people who work with me, but mostly for the people that have successfully joined our program and live independently. I appreciate the award – but the works still needs to be done.