Thursday, August 11, 2011

Raising awareness of Sydney sex trafficking

Exodus Cry founder Benjamin Nolot interviewing a traffic victim.

Exodus Cry founder Benjamin Nolot interviewing a traffic victim.

AN American-made human trafficking documentary is being screened at the Randwick Ritz to boost awareness of the sex slavery happening in our own backyards.

When Chifley resident Justin Pagotto got a copy of the film Nefarious Merchant of Souls, he felt it just had to be shown to a local audience.

Mr Pagotto was astounded to learn that an estimated 1200 women were trafficked to Sydney and Melbourne every year and decided he must act.

“They promise them work and when they get here they take there their passports away, tell them they owe $15,000 and the only way they work it off is by prostitution,” he said. “So they basically hold the girls hostage and when the girls are all broken and beaten up they deport them - totally evil.”

The documentary is made by Exodus Cry (a human trafficking abolition organisation) founder Benjamin Nolot who visited 19 different countries spanning North and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to gather content for the film.

Half of the proceeds from the screening will towards the Randwick-based charity Homes of Hope International, which runs a refuge for orphaned and abused children of sex workers in India.

Homes of Hope International founder Greg Beech said although awareness was growing globally, the statistics were mind-boggling.

“There are 27 million people enslaved worldwide,” he said. “It’s unbelievable in this day and age in a socially sophisticated society.”

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