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7 Movies About Human Trafficking

“Nothing happens just because we are aware of modern day slavery, but nothing will ever happen until we are.” 
-Gary Haugen 

 

Awareness is the first step in the fight against human trafficking. Without it no one would be able to take action or even be aware that it exists. Not only do we need to be aware, but the right education is also important. There are many myths circulating society about human trafficking. We need to dispel those myths to engage in this fight well. The documentaries and movies listed below will help you do just that. 

Nefarious | Merchant of Souls

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is a hard-hitting documentary that exposes the disturbing trends of modern day sex slavery. From the first scene, Nefarious gives an in-depth look at the human trafficking industry, showing where slaves are sold (often in developed, affluent countries), where they work, and where they are confined. With footage shot in over nineteen different countries, Nefarious exposes the nightmare of sex slavery as experienced by hundreds of thousands daily, through the eyes of both the enslaved and their traffickers. Nefarious features expert analysis from international humanitarian leaders, and captures the gripping and triumphant testimonies of survivors in order to galvanize hope and vision.

The Whistleblower

When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack of proper training provided the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for.

Born Into Brothels

A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, Born Into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in Calcutta's red light district, where their mothers work as prostitutes. Spurred by the kids' fascination with her camera, Zana Briski, a New-York-based photographer living in the brothels and documenting life there, decides to teach them photography. As they begin to look at and record their world through new eyes, the kids, who society refused to recognize, awaken for the first time to their own talents and sense of worth. Filmmakers Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski capture the way in which beauty can be found even in the seemingly bleakst and most helpless of places, and how art and education can empower children to transform their lives.

The Pink Room

After selling herself at fourteen to a brothel inside her home town of Svay Pak, Mien takes an undesired path all over Cambodia for the remainder of her teenage life. At twenty, her path crosses with a group of people fighting to make a difference, bringing her long and onerous journey back to face where it all began. The Pink Room is an intertwined story of the heart-rending, epic battle to end sex slavery, from rescue to prevention, and experiencing first hand, the need to change not just individuals, but the communities they come from. Most documentaries on trafficking only bring awareness to the problem. This film brings awareness to the solutions.

Very Young Girls

Very Young Girls takes us into the work of former sexually exploited youth turned activist Rachel Lloyd who started the New York City organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) to help victimized women escape their pimps and find another way of life. We meet teenage girls at different stages of this transition. Some have been so psychologically manipulated by their pimps, they feel compelled to return as much as a junkie needs another fix. Others have successfully broken with their pasts. As we come to know these girls better, they emerge as well rounded individuals full of unexpected laughter and insights.

Tricked

Tricked: The Documentary takes you to big cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City. It documents sex trafficking and its presence within the United States, from the perspectives of the victims involved in sex trafficking, the "johns" who pay for the sex and the pimps responsible for instigating the illegal business. In addition to the various people interviewed in this documentary, the film follows law enforcement agencies and their efforts to crack down on this illegal enterprise. The film is meant not only to educate people on trafficking, but to help them understand and spot the scouting and manipulating techniques commonly used by traffickers.

Not My Life

Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, Not My Life takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited, every day, through an astonishing array of practices including forced labor, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering.

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