Blog | Archive for September, 2011 SUBSCRIBE
If you were unaware of the flurry of activity regarding National Call-In Day on September 8th, you might also have missed the point behind it: to encourage legislators to pass the 2011 version of the Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act, or TVPRA, which is set to expire on September 30, 2011. However, even if you missed National Call-In day, it’s not too late to call your senators and encourage them to pass the bill. International Justice Mission makes activism easy by offering an idiot-proof guide to calling senators about the TVPRA.
Jesse Eaves, Policy Advisor for World Vision’s Children in Crisis program, stresses the extreme importance of the bill to anti-trafficking efforts:
“The Trafficking Victims Protection Act is hugely influential in giving other countries the support they need to step up their fight against trafficking…It is the best diplomatic tool we have, and if it is not renewed, the United States’ fight against trafficking will end on October 1.” (Health News)
So what’s so important about this bill, anyway?
“Survival is your strength, not your shame.”
Recently I saw a TV show episode, during which a man seeking fame and fortune irreversibly transforms his young daughter into a monster as a scientific experiment. Two passersby in the lives of the man and his daughter are seized with guilt, anger, and depression at the realization that there is nothing they can do to change the girl back into what she once was.
It’s doesn’t take a creative leap to draw a comparison between the story of the fictional girl and the story of a real youth whose future, dignity and hope is snatched away and exchanged for a life of shame and abuse. The average age that a young girl is initially commercially and/or sexually exploited by a pimp or john is between 12 and 14 years old. For boys and transgender youth, that age drops to between 11 and 13.
However: there’s also a significant difference between the two narratives.
Warning: There may be spoilers ahead, as well as the mention of some material that may be inappropriate for children.
A new film has hit the theaters of America, forcing the issue of human trafficking into the forefront of people’s lives. The Whistleblower is based on the true story of Kathy Bolkavac, who, during the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, worked as a UN Peacekeeper in Bosnia. While there, she uncovered an underlying scourge of human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, taking place in the country. Kathy learns during her investigations that members of the UN, from fellow peacekeepers to police and high officials, not only take part in abusing the victims, but often directly facilitate their abuse. From driving vans of women across the borders to avoid security, to taking bribes for their cooperation, Kathy discovers that the employees of the UN are deeply ingrained in this industry. As usual, some artistic interpretation was taken with the film, which is explained in the opening scene.