Monday, January 29, 2007

Just discovered ... Human Trafficking: The Movie

A Hollywood movie called Human Trafficking, starring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland, was made back in 2005. Apparently it premiered in October, although it's not clear from the website if that was Oct 2005 or 2006.

Interesting that it's taken this long to learn of this movie. Given Hollywood's sleazy standards, however, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a movie like this wouldn't be widely promoted.

Also interesting is how, once the shock wears off revelations like this, any intial activism seems to comes to an abrupt halt.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Roman Catholic nuns in Ontario raising awareness of human trafficking

An excellent article was published recently about a few Roman Catholic nuns in Ontario who have taken on the gargantuan task of educating the public about human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Shock talk probably isn't what you would expect from a nun. But Sister Dorothy Goetz's message about the global sex-slave trade leaves listeners stunned. They're numbed by estimates that 700,000 to two million people a year are traded like livestock....

The shock waves go both ways. Goetz herself is disconcerted that people are so surprised ...

Goetz and fellow members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame are leading workshops to raise awareness of the huge trade in humans.

So far the sisters have visited three Roman Catholic churches in Waterloo Region ... about eight of the sisters and several volunteers formed a committee to raise awareness by speaking at churches.
The sisters open each talk with the Prayer for The End to Human Trafficking. They show a video and then use a PowerPoint presentation ...

Only one male has attended a committee workshop to date. That disappoints Goetz. ... Men have many skills and contacts that could help women fight human trafficking....

Full article here.

Some human rights abuses harder to expose than others

It's very commendable of rock stars to help expose human rights abuses around the world.

British rock legend Peter Gabriel has formd an organization called Witness that provides video equipment to human rights activists to record such abuses.

I suspect he may not be aware of the horrific abuses suffered by hundreds of thousands of young women and even children, at the hands of human traffickers pandering to men seeking instant, no-strings-attached sexual gratification.

In which case, someone should send him a copy of The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade.

Then again, no doubt it would be extremely difficult to film what goes on behind the closed doors and barred windows of brothels and "breaking grounds", much less expose it to public view.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

There but for the grace of God...

An American student at Duke University, who only recently realized she escaped the horrible fate of so many young Ukrainian women, writes ....

I grew up with mummy and daddy who sent me to private school instead of a brothel ... The truth is, a few years ago trafficking in humans barely registered on my radar.

Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those members of Duke’s international community who, in the past, have branded me a “Russian whore” and told me, with much glee, about what women like me do back in their countries. Without your little jibes, whether uttered in jest or in a calculated attempt at humiliation, I might have never woken up. I would have never seen firsthand the kind of complacency that allows for human beings to be sold like cattle into this special service industry.

... I’ve been shocked out of my shell, reminded of the fact that while I was growing up in a cozy little enclave in Charlotte, North Carolina my compatriots were being beaten into submission by meaty thugs and pawed by drooling clientele.

Read the entire article here. A very worthwhile, if gruesome, read.