“I’m quickly learning that if I thought I knew about human trafficking before, I was in for a rude awakening about the depths and unfathomable truths of this modern day epidemic.”
Sometimes it’s not enough to read about these stories on the internet or in the news. Sometimes, as Suzanne discovered, you have to come face to face with a survivor to feel the full force of the torment they have suffered.
Suzanne Kim is a documentary maker working with STOP THE TRAFFIK and Amor Ministries on our Women of Strength programme. She heard the story of ‘Z’, an Indian woman who found refuge at Nirmal Bhavan, a home in a Mumbai slum for women who have escaped from the sex trade.
“That’s the thing about human trafficking: Z’s story isn’t just her story, it’s the story of so many… mistreatment, slavery, no pay, electrocution to keep them awake at night, hormone injections given to girls to control their menstrual cycles, sexual, verbal and physical abuse… the list goes on.”
As Suzanne points out, Z’s story is not isolated. Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red light district, is Asia’s second-largest and attracts sex tourists from all over the world. As such, demand is high and opposition is low.
The abuses suffered by sex workers in Mumbai are often shocking – both from their “employers” and from their clients. Many are infected with HIV. Many turn to self-harm as a way of getting control of their bodies.
STOP THE TRAFFIK and Amor Ministries have partnered on Women of Strength, an opportunity for 21 women to go on a journey to witness and prevent human trafficking around the world. The focus of the trip will be to become STOP THE TRAFFIK advocates, learning about and contributing to the model of community action STOP THE TRAFFIK is developing to resource, equip and mobilise people to take action where they live.
Suzanne has just returned from Mumbai, having met with the key project partners. You can read her blog here: http://www.wosindia2013.blogspot.in/
There are limited places still available – for more details, costs and how to apply please visit https://www.amor.org/wos. Closing date is end of April.