In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 1, 2007 / 19 Tishrei 5768

Slavery by any other name

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When you say slavery, most Americans think about what ended with The Civil War. With relief, we think: That was then.

But slavery is, unfortunately, now.

We call it "human trafficking" these days, an almost innocuous-sounding term, but it is slavery by any other name. And the numbers are stunning. Around the world, as many as 1.1 million human beings, mostly women and children, are "trafficked" across international borders and sold each year into slavery, according to the U.S. State Department.

If one counts all the people forced into servitude — from farms in India to charcoal mines in Brazil — the numbers reach into the millions. Even the U.S. has become a major importer of sex slaves, with estimates running between 14,500 and 17,500. Of those, 80 percent are women and half are minors.

Although the U.S. has been monitoring trafficking since 1994 — and Congress passed a trafficking victims protection act in 2000 — slavery hasn't seized the American imagination the same way apartheid once did, or as Darfur has in recent years. That may begin to change with two new films — one a documentary and the other a mainstream film starring Kevin Kline — that are aimed at disturbing our slumber.

They are effective.

In "Sold," a documentary by former ABC producer Jody Hassett Sanchez, we meet Pakistani boys as young as 3 sold into service as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates. We also meet little girls as young as 5 who had been sold as sex slaves.

One of the challenges of modern-day slavery is that good people are often unknowingly complicit. Many of the children featured in the documentary are sold by their impoverished parents, who were promised that their children would have better lives. The reality is something different. Little girls end up as abused prostitutes, while little boys sold as jockeys spend 12 or more hours a day strapped onto the backs of camels, are shocked with metal prods and fed saltwater to prevent their gaining weight.

At a screening here Wednesday, Sanchez told an audience that included U.S. Reps. Mary Bono, R-Calif., and Connie Mack, R-Fla., that she wanted to focus on people who were working to end slavery. She followed three faith-driven people — a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian from India, Pakistan and Togo, respectively — who have suffered threats and beatings to save women and children.

Sanchez says she hopes her documentary, which is cinematically beautiful despite the hideous subject, will inspire Americans, especially young people, to take action.

"Trade," which opens in theaters this weekend, is a less hopeful, if equally harrowing, treatment of the same subject. Based on a 2004 New York Times magazine story by Peter Landesman ("The Girls Next Door,"), the movie shines a light on how traffickers operate from Mexico to a stash house in suburban New Jersey.

The story follows Adriana, a 13-year-old girl kidnapped in Mexico City by an organized crime gang, and a naive young Polish woman, who left her country for the false promise of a better life. Terror can't get any worse than what these two endure as they are trundled through barren landscapes, handed off as sexual favors to strangers, and ultimately put up for sale.

A parallel story unfolds as Adriana's 17-year-old brother, Jorge, teams up with Ray, a Texas cop played by Kline, to try to rescue her before she is sold at an online auction.

This is not a fun movie to watch, nor is it likely to improve anyone's opinion of mankind. But it's an important film that makes denial no longer possible. While "Trade" will make you angry, "Sold" will make you want to applaud. Both will make you want to do something.

Ending slavery won't be an overnight fix. You can't throw money at it and make it go away, though a check to the right people will help. Ultimately, slavery is a moral problem that forces confrontation with one's commitment to human dignity.

Put it this way: Once you know that little boys barely out of diapers are sold as camel jockeys, or that little girls are prostituted before they can tie their shoes — or that any child is peddled to the pedophile with the highest bid — averting your eyes is not an option.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG