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This past Monday there was a screening of “Nefarious,” a film on human trafficking, and particularly, sex trafficking and the global sex industry. It’s a heavy subject, but one that needs to be addressed and that everyone should be concerned with. I was impressed by the turnout at the screening, we probably had more than 40 students come out that night!

The Sex Industry. That’s a pretty big topic to take on. The film covered everything from prostitution in the US to the Netherlands, the violence and twisted psychological pressures to stay in prostitution, kids sold into sex slavery (some by their parents, from Thailand to the US) and women trafficked into brothels. Pretty rough. The documentary did an excellent job however of trying to show all sides of the sex industry, what tourists see, and also what the women experience. The film team traveled the world to speak to people experienced either in the industry, or helping those trapped within it. From Las Vegas to Phnom Penh, each city was startling different in appearance, and scarily similar in term of the women’s experiences.

Perhaps what struck me the hardest in the film was the story of children in Thailand and Cambodia being sold into sexual slavery and prostitution. Here are impoverished families, decided that it was worth selling their own child to be abused for sex. Apart from the impossible question of why, my thought immediately turned to the kids I had met this pas summer in Cambodia. I had been part of a team selected to travel to Cambodia for two weeks with World Vision ACTS, a non-profit I’ve worked with a lot at McDaniel with my club, Advocacy Team. While we were there we investigated micro finance as a possible solution to poverty- and got to meet a lot of families and children. We listened to and gathered their stories, and talked and played with lots of kids! Those kids were all I could think of. What if they were going to be forced into the same kinds of situations? These were beautiful kids, full of life and promise. And yet, I knew they could just as easily become trapped in that dark and dangerous world.

The film did offer some hope at the end though- a glimpse of Sweden, were anti-trafficking laws are being incredibly effective. The promise of hope was also found in other organizations and churches, bent on helping the sex industry’s victims. After the screening was over, IV (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) who was hosting the event also had a brief discussion and offered a chance for action by signing postcards to send to the President, calling on him to fulfill his promise to act against Human Trafficking! A very interesting evening, and think everyone present was able to learn something new.

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