Singapore is a destination… for human trafficking

I’m sure most of us didn’t know that and many wouldn’t hesitate to wave it all off as rubbish nonsense, but these facts will be published soon by Miss Sallie Yea, a fellow at the NUS, in a new eye-opening report which took many years of study and compilation.

Human trafficking is very real, it’s not some far out thing which only happens in the movies. As you know, art imitates life and this global issue affects us all. You just probably don’t know it yet.

Last evening the BFF & I attended UNIFEM‘s screening for the film TRADE by Marco Kreuzpaintinier, a heavy film which was inspired by this New York Times article by Peter Landesman.

I’d seen the film before but watching it again right after Sallie’s speech on her work with victims here, it made me realize there’s so much more about this special evil. Ignorance isn’t bliss. These things happen here in our country too.

At a glance you’d probably shrug it off as “just another” human rights issue which some professional group or international organisation should take care of. But there’s no easy “fix-it” solution because everyone needs to play an individual part in making this world a better place.

It’s really appalling that some men think they’re ‘helping’ these women and young children by exploiting them so they they can ‘earn money’ since they come from impoverished families… it’s even worse when these men defend their actions by throwing back the question if these workers want to even “quit”.

A much greater awareness is needed to educate people on social attitudes… most of the time these women and children (young boys and girls) are unwillingly sold or tricked, many even kidnapped and abused into doing these degrading acts.

They live in fear, and this not a mere job you can simply “quit” because these victims are controlled by violent gangsters who pimp them out. The pimps take almost all the sex money and to forcefully control them, usually ply them with drugs or threaten harm on their families. Many victims have died. The numbers are astonishing.

Now, many of these unfortunate victims may not know how to escape this horrible cycle, and that’s why people like my personal hero, Somaly Mam, past victim and now crusader in this fight against human trafficking, are so very important. The woman’s a life changer.

This horrible problem has been on the rise and a scary fact (especially in this day and age of HIV/AIDS), is that a high 50% of victims of this evil trade, are actually kids. Also, every year high numbers (700,000 – 2,000,000) of people are trafficked around the world.

Besides the UNIFEM website, if you’d like to find out more, please visit the following websites:

http://www.ecpat.net

http://www.home.org.sg

http://www.stopchildsex.org.sg

http://www.humantrafficking.org

…You can make a difference 🙂

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