CSU, Chico News

Film Series Examines Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery

Date: 09-20-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Janja Lalich, Sociology

S.T.O.P. (Stop Trafficking of Persons) is sponsoring a film series this fall, beginning with “Trading Women” on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in Holt 170 on the California State University, Chico campus. The movie series is free and open to the public.

“Trading Women” is a 2003 documentary produced by Dean W. Slotar and David A. Feingold and narrated by Angelina Jolie. The movie takes viewers into the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians. Filmed in Burma, China, Laos and Thailand, it was the first film to explore the complex problem of the trade of women and the impact of this problem on the global community.

The other two movies of the series are “Soldier Child” on Oct. 13 and “Stolen Childhoods” on Nov. 10.

“Soldier Child” (1998) tells the story of the more than 12,000 Ugandan children kidnapped from their homes, marched to Sudan and trained as child soldiers in a rebel army. The documentary follows the children as they are used as expendable soldiers and reveals the rehabilitative efforts of the northern Uganda people for the children fortunate enough to escape from rebel leader Joseph Konya’s army. Danny Glover narrates the film.

“Stolen Childhoods” (2005), the first feature documentary on global child labor ever produced, features stories of child laborers around the world, told in their own words. Children are shown working in dumps, quarries and brick kilns. One boy has been pressed into forced labor on a fishing platform in the Sea of Sumatra, a 15-year-old runaway describes being forced into prostitution on the streets of Mexico City, while a 9-year-old girl picks coffee in Kenya to help her family survive. The film places these children’s stories in the broader context of the worldwide struggle against child labor.

S.T.O.P. is a CSU, Chico student group dedicated to bringing the issue of human trafficking and modern-day slavery to the campus and the community at large. Its primary goal is education about both domestic and international cases of trafficking. The group hopes to mobilize students and community members to take action against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. With more than 27 million slaves in the world today, selling for an average cost of $90, and approximately 17,000 coming in through California each year, S.T.O.P. sees this as a pressing social issue.