In his speech before the Clinton Global Initiative on September 25th 2012, President Obama details U.S. government efforts to combat various forms of trafficking and economic exploitation, sexual and otherwise, that he calls modern slavery.
I’ve never considered myself a slave owner. My house is filled with normal stuff; some furniture, clothes, quite a bit of music and books and an 80-year-old piano. So imagine my surprise when I recently completed the survey at SLAVERY FOOTPRINT, a new web site and mobile app, to discover that my lifestyle is made [...]
One thousand years ago a medieval historian described a scene of plunder, pillage, and capture as Viking pirates stormed the German coast and dragged “distinguished men … to the ships with their hands tied behind their backs, and their feet shackled with chains. [Then] the barbarians ravaged the whole province with impunity.” Pirates, the dashing [...]
A film by Robert Bilheimer
Narrated by Ashley Judd
A Worldwide Documentaries production
A film about slavery in our time — a story about the way the world is.
Not My Life is the first documentary film to depict the horrifying and dangerous practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale.
Filmed on five continents over a period of four years, Not My Life unflinchingly, but with enormous dignity and compassion, depicts the unspeakable practices of a multi-billion dollar global industry whose profits, as the film’s narration says, “ are built on the backs and in the beds of our planet’s youth.”
While acknowledging that trafficking and slavery are universal crimes, affecting millions of human beings all over the world, Not My Life zeroes in on the fact that the vast majority of trafficking and slavery victims are indeed children. This fundamental truth, says the film’s director, Oscar® nominee Robert Bilheimer, raises profound questions about the very nature of our civilization. “What kind of society cannibalizes its own children?” Bilheimer asks. “Can we do these sorts of things on such a large scale and still call ourselves human in any meaningful sense of the term?”
Not My Life features dignified and inspiring testimony from survivors; depictions of trafficking, exploitation, and slavery in all parts of the world including forced labor in Africa; street begging and garbage picking in India; sexual trafficking in the United States and Southeast Asia; and various forms of child enslavement and abuse in both North and South America.
For the theatrical release schedule, see the film’s website, notmylife.org
November 20th is Universal Children’s Day. Established in 1954 by a United Nations resolution, the day’s purpose is to focus attention on the welfare of children around the world.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano launched Blue Campaign, an agency-wide initiative strengthening anti-trafficking efforts through raising public awareness, offering victim assistance programs, and providing training for law enforcement officials. Focusing on the Four Ps, Protection, Public awareness, Prosecution, and Partnerships, DHS will be taking a “victim-centered approach,” said Alice [...]
American Federation of Teachers and International Labor Rights Forum briefing paper on U.S. policies and compliance with Convention 182
It’s common to give a box of chocolate to a loved one on Valentine’s Day, but beyond the flowery box and sweet chocolate what are we really giving as a gift to those we care about? Like the majority of the goods we consume, we know little about how these sweets are produced. As a [...]
I just got back from my second trip to Sudan and India. This post is going to focus on Southern Sudan and a later post will focus on India. Sudan is a country that has been torn apart from civil war. Most people have heard of Darfur and the troubles there but are unaware of [...]
The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 by leading nongovernmental organizations to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, both boys and girls, to secure their demobilization, and to promote their reintegration into their communities. The last Global Report was published by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (Coalition) in November 2004; since then the movement to end the use of child soldiers has seen continued progress towards a universal consensus against their use in hostilities. However, this downward trend is more the result of conflicts ending than the impact of initiatives to end child soldier recruitment and use.
Trafficking in Persons Report, J u n e 2 0 0 9. Since President Clinton issued the first U.S. Government policy against human trafficking in 1998, we have seen unprecedented forward movement around the world in the fight to end human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery. A majority of the world’s countries now have criminal legislation prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons, and global awareness has been immeasurably raised. This annual report from the U.S. State Department is one of the best sources of information about this difficult subject and summarizes U.S. government efforts to halt trafficking.
In the stone quarries of Orissa, India, young women work from dawn to dark. These are modern slaves who must pay off debts incurred by their families. Their work is the collateral for the loan. More often than not, they will work away their youth only to be discarded the minute they’re injured or unable to continue. This is an excerpt from STOLEN CHILDHOODS.
Shot at a brick kiln in Orissa, India, young girls and boys make bricks for twelve to fourteen hours a day. They are bonded laborers. Senator Tom Harkin explains the face of slavery today.
SANCTUARY OF MOSES. This film outlines the organization’s work in the West African nation of Benin. The Sanctuary of Moses builds homes, classrooms and schools to improve access to education for children rescued from trafficking and slavery.
The Sanctuary of Moses offers micro-finance programs to cottage-style industries, builds wells and sponsors students and families. Their goal is to help educate 500 children in Benin.
STOLEN CHILDHOODS, stories of children across the world for whom life is nothing but work. An examination of global child labor, narrated by Meryl Streep.
STOLEN CHILDHOODS was made over seven years time, filming children laboring like slaves in eight countries across the globe. These kids understand two things: one, that unlike other children, their childhoods don’t count; and two, that hard work is all they will ever know.
“It’s a slow death,” says Wangari Maathai, 2004’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. Senator Tom Harkin sees child laborers as “a breeding ground for future terrorists.”
The message of STOLEN CHILDHOODS is very timely. Helping these children is an opportunity for us to help ourselves. The film asks us all to keep the promises the world community has already made; to provide universal education for all children, and to act against the poverty, profiteering and prejudice that produces this shameful waste of children’s lives.
When you hear these kids speak for themselves, it is impossible not to listen and not to act.
Len Morris, Director