Opening Eyes and Changing Minds
The human trafficking epidemic is something that most of us have very little understanding of. We read an article or see a news clip, and our curiosity is piqued. Then we watch a movie like “Trade” or read a book like “Not For Sale,” and we make the transition from bystander to abolitionist. Yet the question we all face is “now what?” The fact is, the process has only begun within us. The ripple has just begun. It will grow into a wave as we discover more people like ourselves, who feel a fire emerging in our belly and are intent on doing something about the truth we have encountered.
Human trafficking statistics are just numbers until we connect the stories and the faces to them. Human trafficking solutions seem impotent as we ask ourselves “What can be done? What can I do?” Human trafficking in Moldova, for example, is so deeply embedded in the psyche of that country that only a militant fight to turn the hearts and minds of this generation—in the schools, in the neighborhoods, in the family gatherings—will turn the tide. Sure, addressing poverty is a big art of the solution, as is passing laws. But we must be reminded that human trafficking is a big money proposition for all parties involved, including parents and relatives who sell their children to address their “poverty.” So too, corrupt officials, feeling overworked and underpaid, are everywhere in every country, lining their pockets and reaching for the fringe benefits of their position. At JFY, we are presently investing our efforts in an all out strategy to place into the hearts and minds of the youth of Eastern Europe a desire and determination to stand up for themselves.
For the rest of the world who have not heard the penny drop, we continue to reach out and spread the word. Human trafficking—the brutal exploitation of this generation of at risk youth– is more real and more pervasive than any of us dare to admit or believe. In many ways we are only beginning to scratch the surface.
There are people out there—fellow abolitionists— who inspire, encourage and propel all us to open our eyes, get involved and make a difference. One such person is Mimi Chakarova. This daring young lady decided to enter the world of human trafficking as a photo journalist, undercover. She exposed herself to the culture so she could bring to us all a vivid and heart rending view of the real story on the ground. She has produced some excellent documentaries, including Sex Trafficking Documentary “The Price of Sex.” She explains her plight below in this short video clip…