Human trafficking in popular culture
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Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery. It has been featured in popular culture on numerous occasions.
Film and video
- The 2013 film Abduction of Eden is based on the story of Chong Kim, who was kidnapped and sold into a domestic human trafficking ring in the mid 1990s. The film's main character, Eden, a young Korean-American girl, is abducted near her home in New Mexico and forced into prostitution by a domestic human and drug trafficking ring located outside the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada.
- The 2008 documentary and concert film Call + Response combines contemporary musicians' performances with an investigative report on worldwide human trafficking including hidden camera footage from brothels in Thailand.
- Cool Devices, a series of animated hentai pornographic videos released as OVA, human trafficking is part of several episodes.
- The movie Dimanasus Prophecy by Dzmitry Vasilyeu addresses human trafficking in Eastern Europe.
- The 2007 film Eastern Promises by David Cronenberg deals with a British midwife who unravels a gang of Russian slavers when she seeks relatives to a baby of a sex slave named Tatiana.
- Ghosts, a documentary by independent filmmaker Nick Broomfield, follows the story of the victims of the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockling disaster, in which smuggled immigrants are forced into hard labour.
- Holly (2006) is a movie about a little girl, sold by her poor family and smuggled across the border to Cambodia to work as a prostitute in a red light village. The Virgin Harvest is a feature length documentary that was filmed at the same time.
- The Jammed, an Australian film about human trafficking in Australia.
- Lilya 4-ever, a film based loosely on the real life of Dangoule Rasalaite, portrays a young woman from the former Soviet Union who is deceived into being trafficked for exploitation in Sweden.
- Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, an American documentary about human trafficking written, directed, produced, and narrated by Benjamin Nolot
- Not My Life, a documentary film about human trafficking and contemporary slavery
- Redlight, a documentary film about human trafficking in Cambodia that premiered on October 4, 2009 at the Woodstock Film Festival
- La Sconosciuta, an Italian movie by Giuseppe Tornatore is centered around the story of a Ukrainian woman caught in the human trafficking and sex trade.
- David Mamet's 2004 film Spartan centres on the hunt for the daughter of a high ranking US official who has been kidnapped by an international sex slavery ring.
- The 2007 film The Sugar Babies by Amy Serrano is a documentary that highlights the plight of Haitian victims of human trafficking in the Dominican Republic. It was produced by Thor Halvorssen Mendoza and funded by the Human Rights Foundation.
- Based on true events, Svetlana's Journey (2004), by Michael Cory Davis, depicts the trials of a 13-year-old who loses her family and is sold to human traffickers by her adoptive family. Drugged, raped, and forced to endure continuous abuse by her "clients" and traffickers, she attempts to commit suicide, but survives.
- In the 2008 film Taken, by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson, the main character's daughter and her friend are taken by traffickers in Paris. In his quest to find his daughter, the movie depicts foreign girls in Paris who are "trafficked" with the purpose of forcing them to prostitution.
- The 2007 film Trade deals with human trafficking out of Mexico and a brother's attempt to rescue his kidnapped and trafficked young sister. It is based on Peter Landesman's article about sex slaves, which was featured as the cover story in the 24 January 2004 issue of New York Times Magazine.
- The Whistleblower is a 2010 thriller film directed by Larysa Kondracki, written by Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan, and starring Rachel Weisz. The film portrays proven and recorded real life events which occurred in Bosnia and Herzigovina to an American police officer(Kathryn Bolkovac) from Nebraska(USA) while working as a United Nations Peacekeeper contracted by Democra Corp., a pseudonym for a present American military contracting company DynCorp, which was then made into a movie. Dyncorp has also been accused of rapes, murders and underage child sex trafficking in Latin America and countries like Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait and the Ukraine.
Literature and publications
(Alphabetical by author's last name)
- The 2011 play, The Walk, by Catherine Cunningham-Huston
- A 2006 Punisher story arc called "The Slavers", written by Garth Ennis, dealt with the horrors of human trafficking and sex slavery.
- The 2009 play, She Has a Name, by Andrew Kooman, winner of the Scripts at Work/Alberta Playwrights Network Award
- The 2009 novel, The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
- The 2009 novel, A False Dawn, by Tom Lowe (St. Martins Press, ISBN 0-312-37917-X) depicts the horrors of human trafficking in the U.S.
- The 2008 autobiography, The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
- Terry Lee Wright's novel, River of Innocents follows the 17-year-old Majlinda into the world of modern-day slavery, where she struggles to hold on to her humanity and to help the stolen children around her survive.
- Grammy-winning pop star, Lady Gaga, portrayed human trafficking in the music video for her multi-platinum selling single "Bad Romance". The video takes place in a white bathhouse where Gaga is kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her, put her on display, and then sell her off to the Russian Mafia for sexual slavery.
(Alphabetical by series)
- Sony TV's Indian series Crime Patrol, based on true events, has covered this topic.
- Criminal Minds episode 6.24, "Supply and Demand", addresses a human trafficking ring that abducts stressed-out college students.
- The CSI: NY episode, "She's Not There", showcases the horrors of human trafficking when a Russian tourist is murdered and a girl went missing.
- Everyone wants to be with Marilyn, is a prime-time soap opera produced by RCN Televisión, in a partnership with UNODC Colombia, which informs millions of viewers about human-trafficking within the context of sexual exploitation. The final part of the show follows the story of a young woman who travels abroad thinking she will become a model, only to end up working against her will as a prostitute. Marilyn, in the meantime, sets up an NGO that assists victims of trafficking and offers support to women wishing to abandon the world of prostitution. The soap opera's main male character plays a UNODC staff member who is working on a national campaign that is part of its Anti-Human Trafficking Project.
- The TV miniseries Human Trafficking (2005) by Christian Duguay stars Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland, and Robert Carlyle and tells the stories of a 16-year-old girl from the Ukraine, a single mother from Russia, an orphaned 17-year-old girl from Romania, and a 12-year-old American tourist who become the victims of international sex slave traffickers. Sorvino and Sutherland are the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who struggle to save them.
- Inhuman Traffic (2005) is one of numerous MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) documentary specials that addresses human trafficking.
- The European series Matroesjka's deals with girls from ex-Soviet countries, who have been deceived into sex slavery in Belgium.
- in the Canadian/UK TV drama Sex Traffic (2004).
- Human trafficking (women trafficking) is portrayed in the Brazilian soap opera Salve Jorge (2012).
- Vasilyeu, Dzmitry A. (23 July 2011). "Dimanasus Prophecy". Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Holly, priorityfilms.com (archived from the original on 2007-10-21).
- The Jammed at the Internet Movie Database
- Dan Preston (28 June 2012). "Nefarious: Merchant of Souls". Godculture Magazine. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Jamie Rake (28 October 2011). "Nefarious: Merchant of Souls". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Caitie Daw (March 2, 2009). "Director speaks on human rights". The GW Hatchet. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Timothy Malcolm (September 29, 2009). "Actress Liu hopes 'Redlight' raises awareness of sex trafficking". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- Taken at the Internet Movie Database
- Siegel, Tatiana (20 August 2009). "Trio join Weisz for indie 'Whistleblower'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- Kathryn Bolkovac
- "Our Canadian Story: Making Community Engagement A Priority". Black History Ottawa. 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Mark Weber (9 December 2009). "Local author unveils adventurous and original tale". Red Deer Express.
- Mark Weber (14 July 2010). "Author explores plight of Malaysian refugees". Red Deer Express.
- River of Innocents (Written Leaves). 13 May 2008. ISBN 978-0-9801990-0-0 http://www.riverofinnocents.com
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- UNODC (2005). "Colombian soap opera raises awareness about human trafficking". http://www.unodc.org UNODC.org.