This was a busy weekend, real good but very mentally exhausting. I volunteered at a film forum hosted by The Boston Initiative to Advance Human Rights discussing human trafficking all over the world. “Fighting Trafficking through Film” showed a total of 8 films and had experts of the subject, lawyers, directors of unique organizations in for panel discussions after every film. The films and documentaries were fantastic but incredibly difficult to watch. The panel discussions were all filled with great knowledge and suggestions. I wish more students and people around Boston knew about this film forum, I was really quite shocked that Emerson students didn’t know anything about this because we are known to be a film school after all.
Anyway, this film forum got me thinking all weekend about these issues, what my role is, what I can do and how I can promote these films to others to attempt to make a difference. One of the main thoughts I had through out the weekend was about my trip to Thailand during my Sophomore year of high school. I, along with 15 other girls, went to spend a week at New Life Center Foundation with girls who have been exploited and trafficked through various ways including slavery, sex, etc. We were partnered up with one of them and lived life with them for a week, doing what they do, getting to know them, etc. It is amazing to think back and remember that time the girl I was partnered up with started bawling the day before I left leaving me in a state of confusion. Not till that night did I find out from a translator that she was really sad because I was going to leave. I have a slight recollection of their stories, but I really wish I had been able to get to know her more, or any of the girls.
I wish I had more knowledge about the issue and what was happening around the world during that time. If I was to turn back time, or better yet, if I could do something now as a response to my thoughts, I’d prepare a presentation/lecture on the issue of human trafficking to prepare the team that will go on this interim to Thailand. Unfortunately, the interim no longer exists- perhaps in the long run, I’ll have to bring it back. (Just a thought)
I learnt so much over the weekend that each piece of information is hard to digest. It was very interesting to learn where human trafficking fits in from all different angles, from a law perspective, from a business perspective, supply and demand, psychologically, etc. Most importantly, remember that this issue is a repercussion from poverty and in the end, we have to tackle the root cause of poverty and not simply “rescue” the victims of the problem.
The issue of human trafficking involves every one around us and we can all do something to spread awareness and help. It’s sad to know that in certain countries, the biggest problem is trafficking is part of organized crime which means government officials are involved, hotel businesses are involved and gaining profit, etc. It’s easy to read and learn about it, then brush it off saying “it’s never going to end and trafficking will always be present” but as one of the panelists mentioned, “look at Domestic Violence in the states and see how far we’ve gone. There is a zero tolerance for Domestic Violence and as long as we keep working for the cause and keep spreading awareness, there will be an end for human trafficking.”
I can keep writing for a long time…. but I leave you with this.
Lina Nealon: “What we need is a broad cultural shift, and we can do it” to combat sex trafficking BITAHR#2012