By Rich Figel
As part of the 808HALT coalition's mission to increase public awareness about human trafficking in Hawaii, we've been airing a new video on OC16 that focuses on farm laborers from Southeast Asia. In that piece, we share Samian's story -- but there are hundreds of other immigrant workers like him that have spent years away from their families because they were lured to America with false promises, then abandoned. You can see that segment on the current Career Changers TV show until next Thursday, or watch it on the 808HALT.com YouTube Channel by clicking her. Thanks to immigration attorneys and the Pacific Gateway Center, Samian's tale may have a much happier ending than most trafficking victims.
The other major area of trafficking is the sex trade. Sadly, young people -- mostly women and girls -- are targeted and exploited. At a recent State Legislature hearing on bills related to this subject, I heard a mother tell how she thought her teenage daughter was a runaway... only to find out that she was being forced by pimps to perform sex acts for money. Her daughter sat beside her and talked about the trauma she must live with resulting from the abuse she suffered at the hands of men. We will be doing a video segment on new laws that are being proposed to help stop this growing crime, which is now only second to drugs in the amount of money being generated. In some ways, it's even more lucrative than drugs, for the simple reason that humans can be reused over and over.
If you're on the North Shore, there will be a special showing of a movie on this important topic, Friday night (Feb. 25). Jessica Munoz of Courage House Hawaii sent me the following info on "Sex and Money":
Where: Historic Haleiwa Gym
66-434 Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa HI 96712 (across from Pizza Hut)
When: February 25, 2012 @ 6:30pm
Enjoy Special Music from Local artist Tyler Nakamura
About the Film:
Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth is a feature length documentary that follows a group of photojournalists as they travel in an RV on their second journey, this time across the United States, seeking to understand how the sexual exploitation of children has become the nation's fastest growing form of organized crime and what can be done to stop it.
Jessica's goal is to find a house somewhere in Oahu for treatment of juvenile victims. Here's what they are looking for:
"The point in which we are at now is finding a location for the home. Whether it be land that a home can be built on or a property with an existing house, we are looking for a donation, a generous price mark down, or land lease. This is where we hope you can help. Please forward this information on to anyone in a position that may be able to help us. The vision for Courage House Hawaii is a ranch style setting in a rural location. Safety is a concern for our girls. Courage House Hawaii will employ equine therapy, art and dance therapy, gardening, and other therapies that require land and open space. A rural setting with spacious land, aids in the healing process. We are interested in looking into any non-urban properties that can offer a safe and secluded environment for the girls we will be housing."
If you might be able to help, please contact Jessica. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can still catch our Feb. CCTV show until next week! Check out daily viewing times at www.CareerChangers.TV, subject to change though because of high school sports this week.