I went to a screening tonight of the film “Call + Response”. It is an eye opening documentary into the world of human trafficking. Musicians and actors provide responsive songs & reflections to help connect the rest of the world.
I sat in an auditorium with maybe 30 people? Some were well familiar with the plight, others had no idea this sort of tragedy existed in our current, modern society and it was a bit of a shock. Where do you stand on that spectrum?
I didn’t learn anything new this evening, I more so went to make contacts – and that I did.
ACT Alberta – Action Coalition of human Trafficking is a group comprised of representation from MANY local organizations all trying to coordinate their efforts in order to best help our local victims of trafficking.
Did you know trafficking is not just an over seas issue? It is widespread in Canada – thousands in Canada! The city of Edmonton included.
Did you know trafficking does not necessarily just involve foreign individuals? Local young girls & boys can be vulnerable to coercion, manipulation and exploitation.
Did you know trafficking involves more than the sex trade? Women, children & even (at times) men can be held against their will and forced to do labour of various types.
- A story mentioned this evening told of 19 construction workers that were trafficked males – locked in the building over night, fed on scraps. During the day, they were working along side other workers who had no idea what was going on right beside them. This finally came to light & they were rescued when someone noticed things that just didn’t add up in terms of these particular workers.
Trafficking is not going to stop unless people are willing to get involved. ACT wants to help educate people to know how to recognize trafficking – many stories involve people living amongst other people who have no idea they are there against their will. Many stories of rescue stem from someone noticing something off and trusting their instinct, following up (with a call to the police – please don’t intervene on your own).
The manipulation & coercion tactics used by traffickers would suggest they have the equivalent to a degree in psychology. These people are very skilled in managing their people – to the point many victims will often not recognize they are victims. Even amidst physical, psychological and exploitative abuse. Many will defend their trafficker.
The governments will only do what the people they are governing want them to do. If we make noise, they will have to respond. But, as long as we shrug our shoulders and look away, they will remain quiet.
Documentaries like this make me feel ill. Undercover individuals going in to brothels with hidden cameras -little girls living in cells, expected to “entertain” male clientele. SO many in a day. Refusal? Food might be withheld, or perhaps a beating will be received or threats against a loved one will be made. Do you really think little girls WANT to be doing this? Repeated rapes, beatings & loss of food break these little girl’s spirits and make them easier to control. My heart breaks for those children.
Girls ages 7 and up, being sold as virgins for a price (virgins will guarantee a customer he is not being exposed to any STDs). She will be kept for a few days, raped repeatedly, and then brought back to the brothel. Her hymen will be resewn and in a few days she will be sold again. The trauma to her genitals will of course cause bleeding with the next customer – which the he will take as a sign of her virginity and be well pleased. Girls as young as 3 have been found in this situation. I can hardly stomach that. My own daughter is 3.
These kids are NOT doing this by choice, but our governments again work for us. If we say nothing, they are not likely to step in.
In Canada the average age of a trafficked sex trade worker is 15.4 years old. Girls who are targeted are generally already classed as high risk. Aboriginal girls and women (and even boys & men) are in one of the highest categories. Regular teens though are not immune.
The abolition of slavery in Britain started with a group of men deciding this was wrong. They lived in a culture that believed slavery was moral, ethical & even biblical. They were HUGELY in the minority in what they believed was important to stand for.
20 years later,slavery was abolished in Britain.
27 million slaves today. Many of them children being forced into sexual slavery. Each and every one is someone’s daughter or son.
It’s time to tell our government that we don’t support this.